The Return of Spitting Image

23 years on: “There’s nothing like a puppet punching a puppet”

The political satire Spitting Image, which first launched in Britain in 1984, is returning to our screens this year – and this time, it’s going after the big guys.  

In its heyday, Spitting Image was watched by 15 million people each week on ITV, its caustic puppets featuring the faces of those such as Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet. The show aimed to be as topical as possible throughout its 12-year stint, with puppeteer Roger Law stating that at times puppets were made overnight in order for a quick turnaround on the show. However, journalist Adam Sherwin claimed in an article in I-News that by the end of its run in the early 2000s, the jokes used during Spitting Image’s prime-time slot “had been reduced to the back-of-a-cigarette-packet material”, its ratings following suit. Continue reading The Return of Spitting Image

Politics on Screen: Parasite

Ever since it debuted at Cannes Film Festival in May 2019 and won its prestigious Palme d’Or, Parasite has been making waves. With two Baftas, four Oscars (including best picture – the first time a foreign film has ever won) and countless other accolades under its belt, it has dominated the awards circuit and catapulted writer-director Bong Joon-Ho to international fame. A much-celebrated director in his native South Korea, Bong’s work often touches upon social issues. Okja, for example, deals with environmental issues, capitalism, animal rights and corporate greed, whilst The Host explores dictatorships, governments and power, amongst other things. Continue reading Politics on Screen: Parasite

Politics on Screen: The Trial of Christine Keeler

When I read in the Radio Times that the Profumo Affair was to be televised into a six-part BBC drama I must admit that I was underwhelmed. Although British screenwriters work wonders with recreating events of the past, with series such as The Crown and A Very English Scandal enthralling their audiences, it all seems to be a tad overdone. However, when The Trial of Christine Keeler came to its conclusion last week, the series brought to light the timelessness of political scandal, and its prevalence in the 2020 contemporary media. Continue reading Politics on Screen: The Trial of Christine Keeler

Roaring 20s: The Enduring Dream of Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age

It’s been nearly a century since F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was published in 1925 – painting a glossy, wealthy image of the 1920s Jazz era – and now, as we enter that same decade 100 years later, it seems a revival of Fitzgerald’s world is at the height of fashion, with nearly every NYE party on 31st December seemingly featuring flapper dresses and pinstriped suits. Continue reading Roaring 20s: The Enduring Dream of Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age

Politics on Screen: 1917

War has always been a popular subject on screen, with the First and Second World Wars finding themselves the focus of countless movies over the years. Dunkirk, War Horse, Schindler’s List, All Quiet on the Western Front, Saving Private Ryan … the list goes on. Now1917 joins the club, a thoughtful and immersive film that director Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty) co-wrote, inspired by his grandfather’s stories of the First World War. It follows two young lance corporals in the British army, Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman, aka Tommen from Game of Thrones), who are given the impossible task of delivering a message across no man’s land to call off an impending attack. If they fail, thousands of soldiers, including Blake’s older brother, will die. Continue reading Politics on Screen: 1917

Celebrity Influence on Young People’s Voting Behaviour

In light of the upcoming General Election tomorrow, celebrities and influencers have filled their social media platforms with messages encouraging young people to register to vote, with some even taking to social media to publicly pledge allegiance with certain political parties. But how useful is this for young people voting?

As we find ourselves firmly in the age of influencers, the point where social media intersects with politics is naturally a grey area. During the last general election in June 2017, rapper Stormzy joined Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, during his campaign. Again this year, he has taken to Instagram to encourage “every single person who reads this to go and register to vote.” Obtaining nearly 300,000 likes and broadcast to a following of 2.6 million people, his post triggered a spike of 351,000 people registering to vote that evening. Continue reading Celebrity Influence on Young People’s Voting Behaviour