3 November 2009
The Guests

Writer and activist Eamonn McCann, arts journalist Sinéad Gleeson and actress Carrie Crowley.

The Film: This Is It

Directed by Kenny Ortega, 'This Is It' is a new movie on Michael Jackson, a showbiz phenomenon of such power that a movie on this scale on the hype-ometer can appear so quickly - after all Jackson himself is dead only a matter of months. Among the many aspects to the hype was that in order to make the release a coordinated global event, the press screening here was held at 4 in the morning. What it all amounts to - and no Michael Jackson fan will miss it - is a movie made from behind-the-scenes footage from Jackson's preparations for that series of concerts in London, concerts which of course we now know would never happen. 'This Is It' is on general release at cinemas nationwide until 11 November.

The Exhibition: Francis Bacon: A Terrible Beauty

'Francis Bacon: A Terrible Beauty' is the title of a new exhibition at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin. The show opened last Wednesday on what was the actual centenary of Bacon's birth - 28 October 1909 - at 63 Lower Baggot Street in Dublin. To celebrate that centenary the Hugh Lane has put together a collection of both work and source materials, some of which have been unpacked from the notorious clutter of the great man's studio, which of course is already a part of the Hugh Lane collection. Some of the paintings have never been seen here before, and some perhaps were never intended to be seen anywhere - unfinished works and some well and truly destroyed by Bacon himself. 'Francis Bacon: A Terrible Beauty' runs at the Hugh Lane until March.

The Film: Bright Star

Directed by Jane Campion - she of 'The Piano' - 'Bright Star' is the story of the doomed love affair between the poet John Keats, played by Ben Whishaw, and a lippy 19th century fashion victim called Fanny Brawne, played by Abbie Cornish. The year is 1818. Keats is 23-years-old and Fanny is aged 18 and literally the girl next door Keats, of course, is broke, but that's not the only problem - illness and separation seem determined to put an end to a love which is so intense as to seem unstoppable. 'Bright Star' is on general release at cinemas nationwide.

The Book: Her Fearful Symmetry

'Her Fearful Symmetry' is the new novel from Audrey Niffenegger, and it's the much-anticipated follow-up to the bestselling novel 'The Time Traveller's Wife'. Teenage American twins get a surprise when their Aunt Elspeth leaves them her London flat in her will. The bequest comes with strings attached, however. The girls have to live in the flat for a year and their mother (Elspeth's estranged sister) must never set foot in it. One item not mentioned, however - although in fairness to Elspeth she didn't see this coming - is that despite being dead she will still be there, hovering around the rooms, trying to make things move and literally breathing down their necks. 'Her Fearful Symmetry' is published by Jonathan Cape.

The Performance: David Geraghty

David Geraghty has just released his second solo album, 'The Victory Dance' - proof that he can still find the time to record and tour on his own despite the demands of his day job as a member of Bell X1. He plays for us 'Wear Out Your Name'.

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