Episode 17: All The President’s Men, Zodiac, Spotlight


Welcome to the 17th episode of The Leftover Popcorn Podcast! This week’s episode sees us discuss three films featuring a central team or strong influence of newspapers and journalism: All The President’s Men, Zodiac and Spotlight.

Leftover Popcorn is a weekly podcast dedicated to the world of moving pictures. Co-hosts Adam McGee (that’s me) and Andrew Snyder share a passion for everything, both weird and wonderful, from the world of television and cinema, and as such we’ll be discussing an eclectic mix of topics in the weeks and months to come.

The podcast itself is built with a very simple structure, with the hosting duties shared, each episode is built around a mixture of three or four regular segments. The segments rotate from week to week leaving discussion open to new releases in film and or TV, classics from both the big and small screen, broader discussions on influential figures and their work, previews of upcoming releases, and more.

Each segment is named after a quote from a movie or TV show that feature as a regular segue in our show, and hopefully will become familiar to you in time.

Anyway, that’s enough of an overview, let’s move on to what we have in store for you this week.

Warning: This podcast contains spoilers!

Running Order:

Intro: 0:00 – 11:18
All The President’s Men: 11:19 – 43:40
Zodiac: 43:41 – 1:14:04
Spotlight: 1:14:05 – 1:49:18
Wrap-Up: 1:49:19 – End

Before you dive in and start listening, let’s take a closer look at the subjects of this week’s main segments.

All The President’s Men (1976) – Alan J. Pakula

Filmed only a couple of years after one of the most groundbreaking political scandals of all-time, All The President’s Men depicts the investigative reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein which uncovered the Watergate scandal and led to Richard Nixon’s resignation.

Packed with enthralling performances from Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Robards and Hal Holbrook, Pakula captures the intricacies of the journalistic process in making a movie that does justice to the real life story.

Zodiac (2007) – David Fincher

Although David Fincher’s Zodiac isn’t the first film you’re going to think of when it comes to journalism movies, this serial killer story is told through the prism of investigation and as such a newspaper is very much at its heart.

From the more traditional journalism of Robert Downey Jr’s Paul Avery at the San Francisco Chronicle, to the intrepid initiative of cartoonist Robert Graysmith who’s played by Jake Gyllenhaal, journalism underpins the chase for a prolific serial killer in this film, while showing the dangers of how the media can be manipulated for ulterior motives.

Spotlight (2015) – Tom McCarthy

The Best Picture winner at the 88th Academy Awards, Spotlight follows the dedicated, investigative team at the Boston Globe as they uncover the systemic cover-up of decades of child sex abuse involving priests in the Boston area.

With a strong ensemble including Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci and John Slattery, the film details the process of building a story and packs an inevitable emotional punch thanks to its sensitive subject matter.

Be sure to return next week when we discuss Netflix’s series Love.

If you like what you see and hear, be sure to follow us on Soundcloud and on Twitter to get a further helping of Leftover Popcorn next week. Also, subscribe to us on iTunes and Stitcher to make sure you never miss an episode in the future.

Let us hear your thoughts and comments below!

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