27 September 2011
The Guests

My guests tonight are arts journalist Edel Coffey, art critic Declan Long and Sunday Times columnist Brenda Power.

The Film: Melancholia

At a time when the planet Jupiter has been especially visible in sky at night, not to mention bits of falling satellite, this may not be the best time to dwell for too long on the new movie from Lars Von Trier. You always know you're in for something from this controversial director and sure enough, this one begins with the end of the world, a new planet called Melancholia crashing into the Earth. But every cloud... Among those obliterated are a party of truly appalling wedding guests celebrating the marriage of Justine - played by Kirsten Dunst - a manic-depressive bride whose strained relationship with her sister is tested further by the incoming planet. What's more, she knows things.

The TV Drama: Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey, written by Julian Fellowes, is set to become the most watched drama on British television since Brideshead Revisited. You can see why - there's hardly an ingredient missing - especially now that the domestic drama of the stately home is moving to the larger stage of the First World War. With series two now underway (the second episode was on Sunday last), we find ourselves not only in the upstairs and the downstairs but also in the trenches. For the toffs of Downton Abbey, it looks like the war is going to be a serious inconvenience.

The Novel: The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles is the debut novel from Madeline Miller, a re-telling of Homer's Iliad, told through the eyes of Patroclus, an awkward and disgraced young prince who is a close and unlikely companion to Achilles. Not everybody approves of the relationship - especially Achilles mother - a cruel sea goddess with a skin condition. But when Achilles finally sets off with all the other heroes to rescue Helen, Patroclus goes with him, with Miller filling in much of the detail that Homer left out.

The Exhibition: The Inhabitant by Martin Healy

Now on at the Temple Bar Gallery & Studio, Martin Healy's solo exhibition The Inhabitant comprises two films, both made this year, Fugue, set in the garden city of Tapiola, Finland, and Last Man, set in a disused airport terminal in Cork. Showing together, given the artist's interest in science fiction novels, these films give us a glimpse of some kind of utopia and its opposite never seems to be very far away.

The Performance: Mike Scala

From Brooklyn, Mike Scala established himself on both the New York and LA music scenes by the age of 17 and by now he reckons he has toured the world twice over. He'll be in Cork University on 28th Sept and the Mercantile in Dublin on 2nd Oct. Here he is in studio with us to perform Home.

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