Where politics and pop culture collide. Every month journalist Emma Burnell and Professor Steve Fielding discuss the way politics is interpreted through popular culture.
The Stepford Wives
For international Women's Day, Emma and Steve discuss the feminist classic The Stepford Wives. A chillingly dark comedy horror about what men really want from women.
The Crime of Monsieur Lange
We're back! This month Emma and Steve look at the 1936 French film The Crime of Monsieur Lange. This morality tale from French auteur Jean Renoir divided us on some of the interpretations of characters. But the film is pacey and enjoyable and ahead of its time in many aspects of sex, gender roles and the evils of capitalists.
The Hunger Games
This month, Steve and Emma are joined by Dr Scott Rodgers, Senior Lecturer in media theory at the University of London, Birkbeck to discuss The Hunger Games. A film adored across the political spectrum, but is it too down on politics? And is it also inherently conservative?
In this episode, Steve and Emma are joined by journalist Helen Lewis - author of Difficult Women: A History of feminism in 11 fights - to talk about Mrs America. The Series depicts the fight around the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s between two groups of women. The second wave feminists and the backlash from conservative women. It is an incredible and complex depiction which - while clearly taking a view - doesn't demonise or idolise either side.
In this episode, Emma and Steve are joined by the President of the New York chapter of National Action Network - Derek Perkinson - to discuss three seminal Spike Lee films. We cover Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X and BlacKKKlansman. All three speak to the moment we find ourselves in. Lee uses humour and great storytelling to drive home his point, never losing either anger or control.
Interview with James Graham
Today we are delighted to be joined by playwright James Graham. We interview him on the day that his play This House is due to go online (you can watch it here for free for a week https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vsSHyjEMrg). We talk about his portrayal of both real and fictional political actors from This House through Labour of Love and of course we touch on his portrayal of a certain Dominic Cummings.
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What's On The (Ballot) Box?
Normally, political figures and popular culture should not meet. They'll only just start claiming 27-7 Feat. Captain Hollywood were Britpop or write a column trying to make a conspiracy out of the number of times that Comrade Dad has been repeated. Emma and Steve don't just know their stuff, though - they *like* their stuff, or at least like enough of it to know what they *don't* like. Wherever politics has been portrayed by popular culture, they'll talk about how far it succeeded as either, and with some surprising choices for subjects too. Will they get around to DC Comic's 'Prez', though??
Where politics & pop culture collide
I love a bit of political geekery and I love TV or film based on politics, so this has been great. Revisiting some of the best, like A Very British Coup and The Thick of It, through a contemporary political lens has been revealing. Given the background of the two presenters, we also get some nice insights from people who have been in the thick of it themselves.