07 January 2003
The Film: Gangs of New York
19th Century New York was terrorised by a whole bunch of gangs. Wave after wave of immigrants supplied hoodlums from the old countries who defended their turf in the New World with spectacular ferocity and viciousness. In 1928, the journalist Herbert Asbury produced an account of those years of political corruption and street savagery, 'The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld'. Amongst the people who came across a copy was the director Martin Scorsese and he has spent almost 30 years pursuing his goal of a screen version. Finally, starring Daniel Day Lewis, Leonardo Di Caprio and Cameron Diaz, not to mention Liam Neeson and Brendan Gleeson it has arrived.

Peter Sheridan, Ger Ryan and Stephanie MacBride discuss 'The Gangs of New York'

The Film: City of God
The City of God is the somewhat ironic name of a slum in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro and also of a new film by the director Fernando Meirelles. It is based on a novel by Paolo Lins, who grew up there and knew well the drug trade and its army of criminals, most of them children and teenagers, many of them due to live fast and die very young indeed.

The Panel discusses 'City of God'

The Book: Nobody's Perfect
Anthony Lane began writing for the London Independent in 1989 and was its Deputy Literary Editor and from 1991, also its Sunday film critic. In 1993 he was recruited as The New Yorker's film critic by then-editor Tina Brown and commutes between London and New York. Now he has published a collection of his New Yorker articles, book reviews and profiles as well as film notices, 700 opinionated pages entitled, in homage to Billy Wilder, 'Nobody's Perfect'.

The Panel discusses Anthony Lane's 'Nobody's Perfect'

The Film: Spider
David Cronenberg is known for making the flesh creep and the hairs on the back of your neck rise; the novelist Patrick McGrath works a similar territory. Now the director of 'Videodrome', 'The Fly', and 'Dead Ringers' has got together with the author of novels such as 'The Grotesque', 'Dr Haggard's Disease' and 'Asylum' to adapt the latter's 'Spider', starring Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson and Gabriel Byrne. It's the tale of a damaged character, released from a mental institution into a bleak and cheerless London, hunting for the truth about the events which led to his commitment to the asylum as a young boy.

The Panel discusses 'Spider'

The Performance: Pan Pan Theatre Company
The 5th Pan Pan International Theatre Symposium began at Dublin's Project last night and runs until the end of the week. It is a festival of innovative theatre from Europe and the US: performances, workshops, talks and free theatre events. There is also a premiere of a new work, 'For The First Time Ever', a co-production between German Stage Services and Pan Pan Theatre Company, written and directed by Gavin Quinn. They are here tonight to give us an extract.

Watch the performance

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