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ClandesTime 180 – The Politics of Monster Movies

Monster movies are one of the most beloved and distinctive genres in cinema, featuring a winning combination of exotic spectacle, ground-breaking visual effects and reflections on humanity’s relationship with nature. This week I examine the politics and ideas behind some of the most recognisable movie franchises of all time – King Kong, Godzilla and Jurassic Park, as well as a few other monster movies. From Orientalism and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle to the Pentagon’s shifting policy on giant creature features, this is a truly gigantic exploration of one of my favourite film genres.

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ClandesTime 180 - The Politics of Monster Movies

ClandesTime 180 – The Politics of Monster Movies

Monster movies are one of the most beloved and distinctive genres in cinema, featuring a winning combination of exotic spectacle, ground-breaking visual effects and reflections on humanity’s relationship with nature. This week I examine the politics and ideas behind some of the most recognisable movie franchises of all time – ...
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'The Script was Entertaining but very Sophmorish' - FBI Deputy Director on The X-Files

‘The Script was Entertaining but very Sophmorish’ – FBI Deputy Director on The X-Files

In 1998 retired FBI deputy director Cartha DeLoach was asked by the producers of The X-Files to review the script for an episode of the show that was set in the 1950s.  The FBI recently released DeLoach's response to the producers, where he branded the script 'very entertaining but Sophmorish', ...
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Review - Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How The Left Took Over Your TV

Review – Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How The Left Took Over Your TV

In a guest article for Spy Culture my good friend and co-author of National Security Cinema Matt Alford reviews Ben Shapiro's book Primetime Propaganda. Matt examines whether Shapiro's central premise - that there is a left/liberal bias in entertainment media - is actually true, and presents some of the limits ...
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Subscriber Podcast #30 - Starship Troopers

Subscriber Podcast #30 – Starship Troopers

On this month's subscriber-only podcast I review one of my favourite films of all time - Starship Troopers. I discuss the film's dual narratives, how it is an anti-war film disguised as a piece of war propaganda, and why it was so misunderstood when it first came out. I outline ...
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Forrest Gump - Tom Secker on Fortress on a Hill

Forrest Gump – Tom Secker on Fortress on a Hill

Chris and Danny invited me back onto their podcast to discuss the 1994 comedy-drama Forrest Gump.  We talked about the original book by Winston Groom as well as McNamara's 100,000 - a project to recruit troops into the US Army who would normally have fallen below the required standards.  We ...
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Why Did the Pentagon Support Godzilla and Transformers, but Rejected Jarhead?

Why Did the Pentagon Support Godzilla and Transformers, but Rejected Jarhead?

The 2005 biographical war film Jarhead is one of a very small number of films set in the first Gulf War.  Despite being based on the autobiography of a Marine who served in Desert Storm the DOD refused to provide it with military support.  But how can a film based ...
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ClandesTime 179 - The Philosophy and Politics of Superman

ClandesTime 179 – The Philosophy and Politics of Superman

Superman is one of the world’s most recognisable cultural icons. A symbol of human idealism, he has been subject to a range of political and philosophical agendas over the last 80 years. This week I analyse the ideas behind Superman, and how they have manifested and changed throughout the course ...
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How the Pentagon Rewrote Man of Steel

How the Pentagon Rewrote Man of Steel

The Superman reboot Man of Steel launched the (now abandoned) DC Extended Universe, and put a much darker tinge on the Superman franchise than any previous incarnation, especially the Christopher Reeve classics.  Man of Steel benefited from large-scale support from the military, but hidden until now are the details of ...
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Avengers: Endgame — What the Media Won’t Talk About

Avengers: Endgame — What the Media Won’t Talk About

I recently saw Avengers: Endgame and it’s a pretty spectacular end to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it. It is also the greatest piece of promotion for the predominant economic model of our time that I’ve ever seen ...
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The Pentagon, Superman and the Freedom of Information Act

The Pentagon, Superman and the Freedom of Information Act

In 1977 the producers of Superman and Superman II approached the Pentagon to try to obtain stock footage of missiles launching, for use in depicting Lex Luthor's dastardly plot to nuke the San Andreas fault.  The Air Force and Strategic Air Command were provided with copies of the script in ...
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ClandesTime 178 – Black Panther vs Django Unchained

ClandesTime 178 – Black Panther vs Django Unchained

Black Panther and Django Unchained are perhaps the two most successful movies featuring black actors in lead roles that Hollywood has ever made. But are they as radical as they seem? This week I analyse these films, how they operate as emotive fantasies for black audiences. Focusing in on the ...
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Watergate, the Mark Felt Biopic and the FBI

Watergate, the Mark Felt Biopic and the FBI

In my latest article for Shadowproof I examine the FBI's role in the Mark Felt biopic Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House.  Using documents obtained under FOIA and an interview with Ed Gray, the son of FBI acting director Pat Gray (who is depicted in Mark ...
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