With a week left until we are plunged into the dark heart of Election night 2015, LUC recommends that if you must remain engaged in the political process for the next seven days then you should do it through the medium of cinema. Before you go to vote, watch this ace selection of politically flavoured movies, selected as the best by an entirely non-democratic process by our re-education committee earlier today…
Fifth Place: In The Loop
Although it isn’t quite up to the level of the series that spawned it, In The Loop is a brilliant, cynical and far too feasible examination of the petty careerists that run things. The overarching thesis that the country is at the whim of a small number of psychotically angry scots could end up to be bizarrely prophetic. In a week or two Sturgeon could be screaming abuse at Miliband and storming out with a “Fuckity Bye”.
Fourth Place: Paths Of Glory
Often under-represented in discussions of the Kubrick canon, this bleak portrait of military discipline in the first world war is fantastic both as a literal anti-war film and figurative tale of power and politics. The generals in their chateau are the entitled 1%, lording it over the masses in the trenches doing all the actual fighting. Like certain governments we could mention they use the machinery of social hierarchy and a rigged legal system to keep everyone in line.
You could argue that the character of Colonel Dax, played by a stoic Kirk Douglas, is a kind of tragic proto-Clegg. All his men seem to like him, he certainly acts like he is on their side, but when it comes down to it he is powerless against the aristocratic generals and falls into line.
Third Place: Election
George Orwell created Animal Farm in order to satirise the totalitarianism of the Russian Revolution in a kids book about a bunch of animals. Alexander Payne pulled a similar trick by making this outstanding dark and nihilistic movie about the horrors of politics and corruption masquerading as a high school comedy. Also noteworthy as one of the very few worthwhile things that MTV Films has ever produced, seriously, look at the state of this list.
Runner Up: Bulworth
I don’t want to say too much about Bulworth as it will be featuring in Issue 2 of our quarterly periodical Underclass. However any film where Warren Beatty delivers the political truth in hip-hop rhyme has to be worth 108 minutes of your time.
Winner: Team America World Police
It says something rather wonderful about the development of our civilisation that the most profound film about the nature global politics also features the greatest puppet sex scene committed to film. Containing something to upset just about everybody, Team America baits all sides of the political divide and then somehow satirises itself with the mock profound Dicks, Pussies and Assholes speech at its climax. Does that count as meta-satire?