16 episodes

Lies Agreed Upon looks at how Hollywood uses history to talk about today. Hosts Lia Paradis and Brian Crim explore the plots and themes of movies and tv shows and discuss how they were influenced by the historical events of the moment.

Lies Agreed Upon Lia Paradis and Brian Crim

    • History
    • 4.8 • 4 Ratings

Lies Agreed Upon looks at how Hollywood uses history to talk about today. Hosts Lia Paradis and Brian Crim explore the plots and themes of movies and tv shows and discuss how they were influenced by the historical events of the moment.

    Back in the USSR

    Back in the USSR

    Dr. Zhivago (1956) and Reds (1981) humanize and problematize the Bolshevik Revolution during periods when the Cold War was particularly intense. When and why these films were made are as fascinating as the stories they tell. In our final episode of season two, we examine how the two iconic films push back against prevailing Western interpretations of the Bolshevik Revolution, namely that it was destined to end in totalitarian dictatorship and forever tarnished viable alternatives to capitalism.
    Lia Paradis is a professor of history at Slippery Rock University. Brian Crim is a professor of history at the University of Lynchburg. For more on Lies Agreed Upon, go here.
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    • 1 hr
    Workers of the World Unite!

    Workers of the World Unite!

    Continuing the theme of social revolution, this episode looks at cinematic depictions of the struggle for basic workers' rights and tolerable conditions. History is rarely the story of uninterrupted progress, and that goes for unionization and safety. Our three films were produced within a decade of each other, 1979 to 1987, when labor faced immense struggles in the face of the Reagan Revolution. Not only did Reagan fracture the normally reliable Democratic coalition of voters, peeling off many blue collar workers, his administration slashed and burned decades of meaningful worker protections in basically every industry. We start with John Sayles’ Matewan (1987), a film about the infamous 1920 coal miners strike in West Virginia. Next is Norma Rae (1979), Martin Ritt’s film starring Sally Field and based on a true story of a North Carolina textile worker who pushes for unionization. And then a darker story, Silkwood (1983), about Karen Silkwood, the nuclear power whistle blower and union activist who died under mysterious circumstances in 1979.
    Lia Paradis is a professor of history at Slippery Rock University. Brian Crim is a professor of history at the University of Lynchburg. For more on Lies Agreed Upon, go here.
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    • 1 hr 14 min
    Votes for Women . . . And More!

    Votes for Women . . . And More!

    Social revolutions may not always be bloody or prompt regime change, but they are vital to a healthy democracy. In this episode we cover popular representations of the women's suffrage movement and the more prolonged and incomplete struggle for equal rights. The vote was just the start, and Hollywood loves that story, but what about the rest? We break down Iron Jawed Angels (2004), Suffragette (2015), and the FX miniseries Mrs. America (2020).
    Lia Paradis is a professor of history at Slippery Rock University. Brian Crim is a professor of history at the University of Lynchburg. For more on Lies Agreed Upon, go here.
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    "Westerners Do Not Have Answers Anymore."

    "Westerners Do Not Have Answers Anymore."

    In this episode we cover Australian director Peter Weir’s The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) and the unforgettable docudrama The Killing Fields (1984), directed by Roland Joffe, which came out in 1984. The Year of Living Dangerously recreates Indonesia’s descent into revolution and genocide in the mid-1960s. The KillingFields centers on the real-life ordeal of Dith Pran, Cambodian journalist and interpreter for New York Times journalist Sydney Schanberg during the Cambodian genocide.
    Lia Paradis is a professor of history at Slippery Rock University. Brian Crim is a professor of history at the University of Lynchburg. For more on Lies Agreed Upon, go here.
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    • 1 hr 4 min
    ¡Viva La Revolucion!

    ¡Viva La Revolucion!

    On the theme of “covering the revolution”, we first take on two films that drop us in the middle of Latin America at the beginning of a bloody new chapter of the Cold War – Oliver Stone’s Salvador (1986) and Roger Spottiswoode’s Under Fire (1983). Both communicate the the early 1980s zeitgeist concerning revolutionary turmoil in El Salvador and Nicaragua. They also leave us overly romantic portraits of journalists “under fire”.
    Lia Paradis is a professor of history at Slippery Rock University. Brian Crim is a professor of history at the University of Lynchburg. For more on Lies Agreed Upon, go here.
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    Revolution! The Musical

    Revolution! The Musical

    In this third and final episode on the American Revolution, we look at the momentous events through an entirely different genre - the musical. You didn't think we could get away with not talking about Hamilton did you? But first, we travel a bit further back in time to appreciate the historical context of the first of the first musical about the revolution - 1776, which was the Tony award winner for best musical in 1969, and then a 1972 movie with almost the same cast. Hamilton was first staged off-Broadway in 2015. It’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, worked on it for years however, inspired by Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton. 1776 came out amid great political turmoil inspired by the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. Hamilton was itself revolutionary - a hip hop musical about the Founding Fathers with a cast made up almost entirely of non-Caucasians. As you might expect, each musical had a lot to say about their respective moments in history. As Lin-Manuel Miranda stated, “This is a story about America then, told by America now.”
    Lia Paradis is a professor of history at Slippery Rock University. Brian Crim is a professor of history at the University of Lynchburg. For more on Lies Agreed Upon, go here.
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    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

Alice Tucson AZ ,

Grounded and Nuanced Film Reviews/Critiques

In the vein of Heather Cox Richardson, Paradis and Crim provide historically grounded critiques of events—in this case, cinematic events. At a moment when public conversation around cultural productions is understandably fraught, and when culture itself is a battleground, they do a great job of situating individual films in a long-term historical perspective, and in the context of their production. They nuance analyses of popular films by shedding light on historical facts that could enrich viewers’ experiences of the films and the critical conversations surrounding them. I would recommend this podcast for movie buffs, historians of both the academic and armchair variety, and for anyone looking for cultural reflection that extends beyond the tweet.

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