Where politics and pop culture collide. Every month journalist Emma Burnell and Professor Steve Fielding discuss the way politics is interpreted through popular culture.
Edge of Darkness
This month Emma and Steve look at nuclear paranoia(?) thriller Edge of Darkness. This classic six-part drama largely holds up well - even if it was baffling in parts both then and now.
This month, prompted by events in Ukraine, Emma and Steve watched Katyń - the 2007 Polish film about the massacre in the Katyń Forest.
Heartbreaking and bleak this film depicts strong violence and touches on extremely difficult topics. It also looks at the horrors of war crimes and the distortion of truth in propaganda.
To donate to the Red Cross appeal for Ukrainian relief please go here.
To see details of, and buy tickets for, Emma's play Triggered, please go here.
The Manchurian Candidate
This month, Emma and Steve watched the 1963 classic The Manchurian Candidate - and loved it!
The superb cast, tight script and conspiracy heavy, but ironic plot have so much to say to a modern audience.
Don't Look Up
This month, Steve and Emma watched popular Netflix comedy Don't Look Up. Starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Jennifer Lawrence, this obvious climate change allegory asks why we aren't acting against the obvious.
But is it asking the right questions and/or challenging the right people?
This month, Emma and Steve look at G.B.H. Alan Bleasdale's seven-part fictional account of a city council infiltrated by a Trotskyist group and the man who stands up to them. What starts as a political drama descends into conspiracy theory. But it still has a lot to say about the debates the left are still having with itself today.
The Founder is based on the true story of how McDonalds became the behemoth it is today. It focuses not on the McDonald brothers - who invented the Speed-E system that revolutionised 'fast food' but on Ray Kroc - the man who franchised the idea to millions.
Released in 2016, this film encapsulates the tensions between Main Street and Wall Street - which was a dominant political narrative of that year's election
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.