Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

‘Well Dressed Negroes’ and ‘Dignified Natives’ – How Luigi Luraschi Rewrote Movies for the CIA

Published February 22nd 2017

In 1953, in the early weeks of the Eisenhower administration, the CIA conducted an operation to alter the content of Hollywood films to help promote positive images of America to foreign audiences. A series of letters addressed to a CIA officer named ‘Owen’ were written by an executive at Paramount – now known to be Luigi Luraschi – outlining the changes to movies that he made and attempted to make on their behalf.

ClandesTime 101 – Nightcrawler

Published February 19th 2017

Nightcrawler is one of those rare films that is beautifully written, very well executed and is about something that actually matters. It tells the story of Lou Bloom, a young man in poverty-struck Los Angeles who gets into nightcrawling – filming violent crimes and accidents and selling the footage to TV news. In this episode Pearse and I conduct an extensive analysis and review of the film, exploring many different interpretations that often contradict each other. Is Lou a sociopath, or the product of economic circumstances and a media culture that turns violence into a fetish? Are his cohorts Rick (his assistant) and Nina (the director of the news channel) just as guilty and complicit in what happens? Is his rival nightcrawler Joe Loder actually worse than Lou? These and many more questions are explored in this epic discussion.

Subscriber Podcast #4 – The Spy Novel that Predicted Trump

Published February 6th 2017

The Twentieth Day in January was published in 1980 and tells the story of an MI6 officer discovering that the Russian government is blackmailing the incoming president. In this subscriber-only podcast we take a look at the book and dwell a little on its implications, and I offer my views on why the whole Trump-Russia-Dossier nonsense has so quickly fallen from the media spotlight. This podcast is only available to Patreon subscribers.

ClandesTime 098 – Eric Johnston

Published January 23rd 2017

Eric Johnston was the second head of the MPAA, a high level political operative and a friend of CIA director Allen Dulles. In this episode we take a look at his life and work, from his role instituting the Hollywood blacklist to his relationships with the FBI and CIA. From his meeting with high level businessmen after a trip to the Soviet Union and his liberalising of the production code and promotion of American films in foreign markets to his testimony at HUAC, this story encompasses much of the deep politics of Hollywood.

Homeland Season 6 – Tom Secker on Porkins Policy Radio

Published January 19th 2017

This week I joined Pearse to talk about the beginning of the new season of Homeland, and how it isn’t quite what we expected. The entire 6th season is set between the US presidential election and inauguration day and while the president-elect is female, she is no Hitlery Clinton. Instead she is a peacenik who wants to withdraw from Syria, and believes the domestic terrorist threat is overblown. Meanwhile, a young Nigerian-American Muslim is arrested after making videos about the history of terrorism in the US, including the assassination of Meir Kahane in New York in the early 1990s. We discussed this case and why it’s odd that a CIA-assisted series would be drawing people’s attention to it.

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