16 December 2008
The Guests

Actress Carrie Crowley, media consultant Richard Delevan and playwright and novelist Declan Hughes.

The Venue: The O2 Arena

The Point on Dublin's Docklands has been one of the biggest venues in the country ever since it opened back in 1988. It closed in 2007 for a major refurbishment and the owners, Harry Crosbie and his partners, the music promoters Live Nation, spent €80m on a new conversion which will open tonight under the new name of The O2 Arena. Later on in the programme, Bono and Edge perform 'Van Diemen's Land', the first music performed in both the old Point and new 02 Arena.

The Film: Gonzo

Directed by Alex Gibney, 'Gonzo' is a documentary movie on the writer Hunter S Thompson. Featuring interviews with friends and family, and narrated by Johnny Depp using the actual words of Thompson himself, it hopes to shed some new light on the wild drink and drug fuelled life of the man who invented Gonzo journalism. Johnny Depp is already closely associated with Thompson, having played him in the screen version of 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' and also for putting up the money for Thompson's funeral - the writer's ashes famously fired into the ether by way of a rocket launcher. 'Gonzo' opens at the IFI on Friday.

The Film: Patti Smith: Dream of Life

Directed by Steven Sebring, 'Patti Smith Dream of Life' is the result of 11 years of filming. Shot mostly in black-and-white, it's intended to be a stream-of-consciousness experience - as good a way as any perhaps to portray Patti Smith, who sees herself as having as much in common with Rimbaud as with anybody in the rock n' roll business. The movie starts in 1995 when Smith recorded her comeback album 'Gone Again' but soon we're back in Jersey, and later in Manhattan - a place where she became associated with the likes of Robert Mapplethorpe and Sam Shepard. As a performer in the legendary Bowery dive CBGB's, Smith was soon at the very heart of the music scene in New York, a city to which she remains utterly devoted.

The Book: The Fire Gospel

'The Fire Gospel' is the new novel from Michel Faber, perhaps best known for 'The Crimson Petal and the White'. This one tells the story of Theo, an academic who visits a looted Iraqi museum and does a bit of looting for himself, swiping nine papyrus scrolls that have lain hidden for 2,000 years. When he translates them from Aramaic he realises that what he has on his hands is a fifth gospel, written by Malchus who actually met Jesus and who had a famous cameo role in the Garden of Gethsemene. But when Theo sells his story and publishes without thinking of the impact of this new - and very controversial - Gospel he find himself at the centre of far too much unwanted attention. 'The Fire Gospel' is published by Canongate.

The Exhibition: Arts of the Book

'Arts of the Book' is a new permanent exhibition at the Chester Beatty Library's collections where visitors can view books from the ancient world including the world famous Chester Beatty Love Poems which date from 1160BC. Also on show are the Egyptian Books of the Dead and illuminated medieval European Manuscripts and Old Master Prints. The exhibition also explores the Islamic manuscript tradition and among the highlights from East Asia is one of the finest collections of Chinese jade books in the world. 'Arts of the Book' is at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle.

The Performance: Bono and The Edge

This is our last programme before Christmas. We'll be back on the air on 6 January but to play us out tonight we have something of a treat: the first ever performance at the new O2 Arena and especially for 'The View'. It's Bono and The Edge performing 'Van Diemen's Land'.

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