16 January 2007
The Guests

Journalist and broadcaster Pat Coyle; Film Ireland editor Lir MacCarthaigh and filmmaker Kieron J Walsh.

The Film: A Prairie Home Companion

When Robert Altman died in November, the movie world lost one of its greatest directors. Altman was a rare bird, making a wide variety of films - from heavy hitters like 'Gosford Park' to left-of-centre favourites like 'Nashville'. He specialised in directing large ensemble casts and, in what turned out to be his last ever movie, he did just that. Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Cline, John C Reilly and many more star in 'A Prairie Home Companion', a film written by Garrison Keillor who also stars. Based on Keillor's popular radio programme, the movie centres around the show's final night as the cast await the arrival of an evil, axe-wielding beancounter who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. And he's coming to shut down the show and turn the theatre into a parking lot.

Read the RTÉ.ie Entertainment review of 'A Prairie Home Companion' here.

The Film: Babel

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and written by Guillermo Arriaga, both well known for 'Amores Perros' and '21 Grams', 'Babel' is a new movie starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. At least they are the best known actors in the film. Their story, of a couple on holiday hell in the Moroccan desert, is just part of the picture. In fact, there are four interlinking stories which take us from North Africa to Tokyo to the US and the Mexican border. 'Babel' opens this Friday at cinemas nationwide.

Read the RTÉ.ie Entertainment review of 'Babel' here.

The Exhibition: Felim Egan

Felim Egan is one of Ireland's most internationally successful artists. His work is represented in many collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the European Parliament, the New York Public Library and of course at home in the Hugh Lane and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. His new exhibition at the Kerlin Gallery once again looks at landscape, inspired as always by the territory literally on his doorstep, Sandymount Strand. But this time he also looks up and beyond the horizon in work described as being multi-directional. Felim Egan's exhibition is at the Kerlin Gallery until 10 February.

The Book: If Minds Had Toes

Ben Warner works in a chip shop called Cod Almighty. Little does he know that he is the focus of a bet between two philosophers, Socrates and Wittgenstein, both of whom now reside in The World of Ideas - a corner of the afterlife reserved for egg-heads and beard-strokers. When Lila arrives and asks Ben to come with her to the World of Ideas he embarks on a trip which takes him into the heart of all of life's big questions. That's the basis of the first novel from English writer Lucy Eyre. It's called 'If Minds Had Toes'. 'If Minds Had Toes' is published by Bloomsbury at £13 stg.

The Performance: Redmond O'Toole

From Bray, Co Wicklow, Redmond O'Toole is one the most innovative classical guitarists around. Playing the eight-string Brahms guitar - also known as a cello-guitar - he has developed an extensive repertoire while also playing original music for the classical guitar. Tonight he performs for us the Prelude to Bach's 'First Lute Suite'.

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