18 May 2004
The Film: Troy
The German director Wolfgang Petersen moved into the limelight with his 1981 film 'Das Boot', a war movie that warned all young boys off wanting to go in a submarine. A decade after that, he was on his way to becoming one of America's top directors with movies such as 'In the Line of Fire', 'Air Force One' and 2000's 'The Perfect Storm'. His new film is 'Troy' and it's an epic in the grand manner, with the usual complement of big names from both sides of the Atlantic - Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Peter O'Toole, Julie Christie, Brendan Gleeson, Brian Cox. Wolfgang Petersen's 'Troy' is based on Homer's epic 'The Iliad', written in the 8th century BC. The action is set around the 12th Century BC and tells of the Great War which breaks out between the Greeks and the Trojans. This version is written by David Benioff and according to the director, the aim was to emphasise the human drama of war, not just the brutality.

Emma Cullinan, Karen Fricker and Seán Rothery discuss 'Troy'

The Play: Savoy
The playwright Eugene O'Brien's new work 'Savoy' opened last night in the Peacock theatre, directed by Conall Morrison. Like O'Brien's last play, 'Eden', it's set in Edenderry, Co Offaly. The occasion is the last night of the old Savoy cinema as three friends, played by Éamon Morrissey, John Olohan and Fergal McElherron, share their memories of the place. Eugene O'Brien's first play, 'Eden', had its premiere in the Peacock in 2001 and was an instant success, transferring to The Abbey's main stage and later running in London and further afield. It won best new play at the 2001 Irish Times/ESB Irish Theatre Awards plus the Stewart Parker New Play Award, and last year it also picked up the Rooney Prize for literature.

The Panel discusses Eugene O'Brien's 'Savoy'

The Exhibition: Bilbao: The Transformation of a City
A new architectural exhibition is currently up and running in the 5th Space at The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. It's called 'Bilbao - The Transformation of a City' and it has already been seen in several major cities around the world. Bilbao is the largest city in the Basque Country. In recent years, it has been transformed by an astonishing programme of new architecture and transport systems, including Norman Foster's Tramway and Metro, Calatrava's footbridge and airport buildings, and of course, Frank Gehry's incredible, titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum. The show itself is a 'living' exhibition, the idea being to add new material to it whenever new buildings go up in Bilbao itself.

The Panel discusses 'Bilbao: The Transformation of a City'

The Book: Shade
Neil Jordan is best-known as a filmmaker, the director of a canon of dark and hypnotic movies, among them 'The Company of Wolves', 'Mona Lisa', 'Interview with the Vampire', 'The Butcher Boy' and 1993's 'The Crying Game', for which he won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. He also writes outside of the cinema. His short story collection 'Night in Tunisia' won the Guardian Fiction Award in 1978 and his fourth novel, 'Shade', has just been published. It's Jordan's first novel in ten years. It begins just after Nina Hardy is murdered, at home, by her childhood friend, George. Her body can't be found, and she remains, silently watching the events that unfold after her death.

The Panel discusses Neil Jordan's 'Shade'

The Performance: Ellika & Solo
Ellika Frissell is one of Scandinavia's leading fiddlers and Solo Cissokho is a seventh-generation kora player from Southern Senegal. They started working together and last year produced an album, 'Tretakt Takissaba', which featured at the BBC World Music Awards. Ellika and Solo are here in Ireland at the moment and they'll be playing Liberty Hall this Sunday 23 May at 8pm, with guests Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and Dermot Byrne.

Watch the performance

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