21 October 2003
The Film: Intolerable Cruelty
It's almost 20 years since Joel and Ethan Coen burst onto the movie scene with 'Blood Simple'. Since then, between them, they have written, directed and produced a remarkable series of films which have somehow managed to successfully straddle the independent and mainstream movie worlds - 'Raising Arizona', 'Miller's Crossing', 'Barton Fink', 'The Hudsucker Proxy', 'Fargo' and 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?'. Several of these were pastiches of older Hollywood forms, so maybe it's no real surprise that they've come up with their own take on a 30s-style screwball comedy. It stars George Clooney as a top divorce lawyer, Miles Massey, who may finally have met his match in gold-digger Maryiln Rexroth, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Ruth Barton, Declan McGonagle and Karim Rehmani-White discuss 'Intolerable Cruelty'

The Play: Blue
The playwright Ursula Rani Sarma is from County Clare. Now 25, her first plays were produced while she was still in college at UCC. She co-founded the Djinn Theatre Company in 1999 and took her play 'Touched ' to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival the same year. Since then, she has been commissioned by The Abbey, The National Theatre in Britain and the Traverse Theatre in Scotland and her plays include 'Wanderings', 'Gift', and the radio plays 'Car Four' for the BBC and 'The Fisherman' for RTÉ. Her play 'Blue' was nominated for the Stuart Parker Award in 2000 and helped her win the Irish Times/ESB Theatre Bursary that year. It has just had its first Dublin run at The Project and is currently on tour. It's about three friends who get together by the sea during their final week of school. The cast is Kevin O'Leary as Joe, Matthew Keenan as Des and Corinna Cunningham as Danny.

The Panel discusses Ursula Rani Sarma's 'Blue'

The Exhibition: Barrie Cooke at the RHA
The painter Barrie Cooke was born in England over 70 years ago. He grew up in the West Indies and then moved to the US where he studied biology, Chinese poetry and art history before deciding he wanted to paint. He was later to win a scholarship in 1955 to study with the great expressionist painter, Oscar Kokoschka, in Austria. By this time, he had moved to Ireland, where he still lives, attracted mainly by the fishing - and indeed fish are a theme in many of his pictures. In fact he has continued to travel far and wide, with major painting cycles done in Borneo, Malaysia and New Zealand, and natural history and ecological subject matter comprise much of his work. Cooke is the focus of this year's Nissan Art Project and paintings from throughout his career can be seen at a major retrospective at the RHA Gallagher Gallery in Dublin, soon to travel to Sligo.

The Panel discusses the Barrie Cooke exhibition at the RHA

The Book: Hard Shoulder
Peter Woods' new novel 'Hard Shoulder' tells the story of a young Irishman, McBride, who does what so many have done before him by becoming a builders' labourer in England, and later Germany, in the late 70s and early 80s. It's partly based on the author's own experiences and it details what to many will seem a hard, unpredictable life. Its characters are labourers and the odd girlfriend and the time is Thatcher's Britain.

The Panel discusses Peter Woods' 'Hard Shoulder'

The Performance: Amoebazoid
The Dublin Electronic Arts Festival (DEAF) is currently underway and runs until 27 October. In all there are 40 events covering independent, live electronic music and arts in venues all around the city centre. One of the highlights of the festival is the release of a double CD featuring re-compositions of works by Daniel Figgis by many of the country's top electronic artists. 'When It's Ajar: The Music of Daniel Figgis' has tracks by Americhord, Bluefood, Karl Him, Hubert, Decal, Deep Burial, Diplah, Vincent Doherty, Roger Doyle, Roytron, Somadrone and many others. On tonight's show Amoebazoid performs 'Kiss Miasma' from the album.

Watch the performance

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