24 October 2006
Tonight's panellists

Author and playwright Declan Hughes, Sunday Times Columnist Brenda Power and Ireland Correspondent for Screen International Ted Sheehy.

The Film: All the King's Men

Written and directed by Steven Zaillian, 'All the King's Men' is a story of power and weakness in the person of Willy Stark, an outrageous political animal played by Sean Penn. Zaillian takes his cue from Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel based on the life and death of Governor Huey Long of Louisiana, a truly outrageous political animal who was assassinated in 1935. There was an earlier multi Oscar-winning 'All the King's Men' back in 1949 but this time Zaillian, who himself won an Oscar for his screenplay for 'Schindler's List', planned to stick as close as possible to the book - a complex story of over 700 pages. To make it happen he enlisted the likes of Sean Penn, Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and James Gandolfini.

The Book: The Lay of the Land

From Jackson Mississippi, Richard Ford is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'Independence Day' and, of course, 'The Sportswriter' - a book which announced one of American fiction's best known characters, Frank Bascombe. Ford's latest novel, 'The Lay of the Land', is the third and final Frank Bascombe book in which Frank, now 55 and settled in New Jersey, contends with what he optimistically calls the "Permanent Period of Life". But things are never as settled as he hopes. His second wife leaves him; his first wife shows up and his health takes a turn for the worse. John Kelly met Richard Ford recently and discussed his relationship with Frank Bascombe, a character he invented some 24 years ago. 'The Lay of the Land' is published by Bloomsbury at €15.

The Film: Middletown

Written by Daragh Carville and directed by Brian Kirk, 'Middletown' stars Matthew MacFadyen as a clergyman on a mission. Returning to his home town in Co Armagh, a place he mistakes for both Sodom and Gomorrah, he plans to drive out evil with an approach which is, at best, a little overzealous. His arrival places him in direct conflict with most of the town, especially his brother, played by Daniel Mays, and his spirited bar manager wife, played by Eva Birthistle.

The Performance: Niwel Tsumbu Duo

On tonight's show we have music from Congo. The Niwel Tsumbu Duo start a nationwide tour in the Firkin Crane in Cork this Saturday, then on to Clonmel, Limerick, Dundalk and Dublin. Tonight they perform for us a track from their new album 'Nzela Molayi'; it's called 'Unknown Story'.

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