I described Aurora, my favorite theatrical release of 2011, as a hypnotic three-hour masterpiece about the spiritual crisis of the early 21st century. These words would also describe my favorite non-theatrical release of 2011, Adam Curtis’s essay All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, which premiered on British television this summer and quickly became available online (you can watch it here). Dense, playful, and philosophically probing, All Watched Over was the most mind-blowing piece of filmmaking I saw this year. Over the next few days, I’ll try to grapple with this major work.