20 January 2004
The Series: Proof
It's not that often Irish television audiences get to see a hard-hitting thriller, which is both made and set here in Ireland. Well, for the past three Mondays RTÉ has been screening something which aims to be just that. It's called 'Proof' and it's produced by the Irish independent company, Subotica Entertainment, for RTÉ in association with Denmark's TV2. The series was created by the Irish writer, Tony Philpott, and directed by another Irishman, Ciaran Donnelly, veteran of big UK series like 'Cold Feet' and 'Spooks'. It weaves a complex story involving corruption in high finance, human trafficking, several murders - and a would-be Taoiseach.

Lenny Abrahamson, Katie Donovan and Belinda McKeon discuss discuss 'Proof'

The Film: Sylvia
There is a new biopic about the American poet, Sylvia Plath - or rather about her and the other half of what must be one of the greatest literary couples ever - the poet Ted Hughes. Plath's death by suicide in 1963, aged only 30, has been the subject of much speculation and it has often become a question of choosing sides between her and Hughes - or even of romanticising her psychiatric history. Entitled 'Sylvia', the movie is written by John Brownlow and directed by New Zealander Christine Jeffs, a former commercials director whose first feature was 2001's 'Rain'.

The Panel discusses 'Sylvia'

The Exhibition: Solo Screenings
The artist Jaki Irvine works in film and video, using both single-screen and multiple-screen installations. Irvine was part of the Young British Artists exhibit at the 1995 Venice Biennale, but she also represented Ireland at the Biennale two years later. She's had numerous solo exhibitions, as well as group showings in the Tate Britain, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and other shows in Europe, Australia and Japan. Her films use visual imagery alongside voice-overs and musical scores, the elements combining in unpredictable ways to create a series of narratives. Her new exhibition at the Kerlin Gallery in Dublin consists of three large, single-screen projected works, another on video monitor, plus selected photoworks.

The Panel discusses Jaki Irvine's 'Solo Screenings'

The Book: The Fortress of Solitude
'The Fortress of Solitude' is the sixth novel by the New Yorker, Jonathan Lethem. He's best known for 'Motherless Brooklyn', published in 1999 and now being made into a film by Edward Norton. And this new novel is also set in Brooklyn, where Lethem lives. It's a coming of age story about two young friends, both of whose mothers are gone: white kid Dylan Ebdus and the more worldly black kid, Mingus Rude, whose dad is a former singer at Motown Records. The book begins in the Seventies when Dylan's family are almost the only whites living in the area. Because Dylan himself is such an outsider, he's only too happy when the slightly older Mingus takes him under his wing and the two begin to share an obsession with superhero comics. Peppered with references to popular culture, their story incorporates a magic, realist element as it develops through time, up to the Nineties.

The Panel discusses Jonathan Lethem's 'The Fortress of Solitude'

The Performance: Soweto Kinch
The saxophonist Soweto Kinch has become an exciting part of a rejuvenated British jazz scene. Certainly not just another bebop artist, the 25-year-old is fusing DJ culture and hip-hop with more traditional jazz forms and in doing so he's getting both critics and audiences pretty excited. In the past year, Kinch has been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, Best Jazz Act at the MOBOs, Rising Star at the BBC Jazz Awards and International Saxophonist of the Year at the Montreux Festival. He is just beginning an Irish tour and tonight he plays for us in studio.

Watch the performance

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