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ClandesTime 149 – Rear Window

Rear Window is one of my all-time favourite films so in this episode I discuss its unique production, the ethics of spying and voyeurism explored in the story, and feminist critiques of both Hitchcock and his movies.

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How the FBI Rewrote Weather Underground Movie The Company You Keep

How the FBI Rewrote Weather Underground Movie The Company You Keep

The Weather Underground were the most successful Leftist militant group in history, a radical offshoot of the SDS and the anti-Vietnam War movement.  As a result, Hollywood has almost no interest in telling stories about them and the only recent film on the Weathermen was Robert Redford's low budget thriller ...
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ClandesTime 149 - Rear Window

ClandesTime 149 – Rear Window

Rear Window is one of my all-time favourite films so in this episode I discuss its unique production, the ethics of spying and voyeurism explored in the story, and feminist critiques of both Hitchcock and his movies.  Transcript Rear Window is one of my favourite films of all time, ...
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How the FBI rewrote Alfred Hitchcock Presents

How the FBI rewrote Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Alfred Hitchcock virtually invented the spy movie genre, and made a career making films about murder, intrigue, cover-ups, suspense and spies.  He suspected that he was under FBI surveillance during the production of Notorious, but the release file only covers a later period.  Rather than being concerned with Hitchcock himself, ...
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Maximum Stupidity: The Novichok Extradition

Maximum Stupidity: The Novichok Extradition

In a low-key announcement the British government have demanded that Russia extradite two suspects in the Salisbury novichok attack. Media reporting on this latest move in the novichok saga is replete with the same contradictions and absurdities that have plagued this story since day one. This is my latest article ...
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ClandesTime 148 - The American President

ClandesTime 148 – The American President

The American President is a romantic comedy set in the White House, set against a backdrop of political issues that are still part of our public conversation. In this episode I analyse the film's politics of nostalgia, its idealisation of the liberal agenda, and its promotion of the military and ...
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US Navy teaches politics to officers using The American President

US Navy teaches politics to officers using The American President

A recently-released syllabus for the US Naval Academy's course FP130: American Government and Constitutional Development includes a section that advises students to watch and learn from the 1995 romantic comedy The American President.  Bizarrely, the scene does not involve the military or foreign or security policy in any way, but ...
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Cover Up: After More than 2 Years, the US Navy Releases an Entirely Redacted Set of Movie Script Notes

Cover Up: After More than 2 Years, the US Navy Releases an Entirely Redacted Set of Movie Script Notes

In March 2016 I submitted a request to the US Navy for copies of entertainment liaison office reports, script notes and production assistance agreements.  Over a hundred emails and three appeals later they have finally released some script notes to me, but the document is almost entirely redacted. Sometimes people ...
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ClandesTime 147 - Crime, Censorship and the Copycat Effect

ClandesTime 147 – Crime, Censorship and the Copycat Effect

For movie censors, crime is perhaps the most complex issue to make decisions about. They want the public to be alert to the possibility of crimes happening, and respectful of law enforcement institutions. But entertainers and audiences want dramatic, ambiguous villains and stories of institutional corruption and hubris. This week ...
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Weaponised Liberalism: Russia, the West and the Great Game of Moral Equivalence

Weaponised Liberalism: Russia, the West and the Great Game of Moral Equivalence

The West’s claim to moral superiority and its assumption of the role of ‘world’s policeman’ are largely derived from a classical approach to liberalism. In short, the argument is that our societies are more liberal (and therefore superior), so we have the unique right to spread our values around the ...
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ClandesTime Special - Just When You Thought it was Safe to Go Back in the Novichok

ClandesTime Special – Just When You Thought it was Safe to Go Back in the Novichok

For the last several weeks the British media has been in full panic mode after two people were apparently poisoned in the English town of Amesbury, a few miles from Salisbury. The official story is that the pair found a perfume bottle containing Novichok that was discarded by Russian assassins ...
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When Thatcher Banned Celebrities from a Number 10 Party

When Thatcher Banned Celebrities from a Number 10 Party

Recently released files show that Denis Thatcher - the oil baron husband of British PM Margaret Thatcher - personally vetted a list of celebrities to be invited for a glitzy reception at Number 10.  While the likes of Ronnie Corbett, Judi Dench and Andrew Lloyd-Webber were considered friends of the ...
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Subscriber Podcast #21 - Satirising the Security State

Subscriber Podcast #21 – Satirising the Security State

While most entertainment supports or promote the military, police and intelligence agencies there is a smaller but important sub-genre that critiques and satirises the security state.  On this month's subscriber-only podcast I look at four examples - two TV series and two films - that mock and criticise the security ...
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