Saturday Review

Saturday Review

Tom Sutcliffe and guests discuss the week’s cultural highlights on BBC Radio 4.

  • Updated:
    Weekly
  • Episodes available:
    Indefinitely help

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Recent episodes (10)

  • Malevich, Importance Of Being Earnest, Norte, Silicon Valley, David Flusfeder 19 Jul 14

    Sat, 19 Jul 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    A new exhibition of work by Russian painter Kasimir Malevich follows his career from early representational work through his cubo-futurist phase to his creation of the concept of suprematism and back to figurative art. There's a revival of Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest, with an old aged all-star cast including Nigel Havers and Martin Jarvis. Filipino film Norte: The End of History, is loosely based on Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and has been hailed as a masterpiece by many critics. New US TV sitcom Silicon Valley revolves around the lives of a bunch of internet start-up nerds. The work of Mike Judge, it's already been nominated for 5 Emmys. David Flusfeder's John The Pupil is a novel that purports to be the long lost diary of a 13th century monk and his companions as they journey from England to deliver a package from their Friar to The Pope in Viterbo.

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  • Boyhood, Linda Grant, Intimate Apparel, People Just Do Nothing, Sikhs in WW1, 12 Jul 14

    Sat, 12 Jul 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Richard Linklater's film, Boyhood, was filmed over 12 years, so the actors / characters age in real time. When production began, the lead actor was 6 and it follows him as he progresses towards adulthood. Linda Grant's novel Upstairs At The Party is about a group of friends at a northern university in the 1970s and how their lives are changed by a personal catastrophe. Intimate Apparel is a play set in 1905, that tells the story of Esther, an African American seamstress who moved from North Carolina to New York City to seek her fortune. BBC 3's People Just Do Nothing is a comedy set in a London pirate radio station and its cheerfully deluded team of enthusiastic idiots. A new exhibition at SOAS in London chronicles the role of Sikh soldiers in The First World War.

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  • Great Britain, The Beatles, Jimmy McGovern, Liverpool Biennial, The Iceberg, 05 July 14

    Sat, 5 Jul 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Great Britain is written by Richard Bean, directed by Nicholas Hytner and stars Billie Piper as an unscrupulous tabloid newspaper editor who is in the middle of a web of corruption involving phone hacking, politicians, the press and police. It's 50 years since The Beatles made their big screen debut with A Hard Day's Night. Considered a lightweight thing by many when it was released, it has been hailed as one of the best rock and roll films of all time. Jimmy McGovern's reputation as a TV dramatist is second to none; his latest work, Common, addresses what he sees as the injustice of the law of joint enterprise. Marion Coutts' book The Iceberg, is about the diagnosis from cancer and death of her husband Tom Lubbock. July sees the 8th Liverpool Biennial, 'an exhibition about our habits habitats and the objects images relationships and activities that constitute our immediate surroundings'.What does that mean?

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  • Cold in July, Richard Flanagan novel, Dennis Hopper exhibition, Honourable Woman TV, 28 Jun 14

    Sat, 28 Jun 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Cold in July is a film starring Michael C Hall set in 1980s America, telling the story of a man who kills an intruder in his home and then begins to think the local police might not be telling the truth about the victim. Richard Flanagan's novel The Narrow Road To The Deep North is a depiction of the appalling conditions endured by Australasian POWs in Japan during World War 2. Dennis Hopper is best known as a unique edgy film actor - Easy Rider, Blue Velvet, The Last Movie and many more, but an exhibition at The Royal Academy in London looks at his photographic work. Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in a TV drama The Honourable Woman, playing a British spy involved in middle east politics. Idomeneus at London's Gate Theatre is a reimagining of the Greek myth about a returning hero who makes a promise to the gods and is then faced with a dreadful ultimatum.

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  • The Fault In Our Stars, The Silkworm, Making Stalin Laugh, and Making Colour 21 Jun 14

    Sat, 21 Jun 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    The Fault In Our Stars is the screen adaptation of John Green's best selling young adult novel about a pair of love struck teenagers both of whom are terminally ill with cancer. A second novel from Robert Galbraith - aka JK Rowling - The Silkworm merges an old fashioned detective story with Jacobean tragedy, whilst providing insight into literary London. David Schneider's new play Making Stalin Laugh - tells the story of the Moscow State Yiddish Theatre which in the 1920s was one of the most respected in the world. Making Colour was developed from the National Gallery's own internationally recognised Scientific Department's work into how artists historically overcame the technical challenges in creating colour. And The Human Factor: The Figure in Contemporary Sculpture brings together major works by leading international artists who have fashioned new ways of using the human form in sculpture over the past 25 years.

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  • Mr Burns, Folk Art, Belle, In The Light Of What We Know 14 Jun 14

    Sat, 14 Jun 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Mr Burns is a play about an America without electrical power, the end of everything in contemporary USA - when the TV programme The Simpsons has passed into folklore. Folk art has often been neglected in the story of British art but a new exhibition at Tate Britain attempts to set that right. British film Belle explores racial attitudes in 19th Century aristocratic circles through the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy officer. In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman deals with betrayal, revenge, love, faith, science and war through the relationship between two men across Kabul, New York, Oxford, London and Islamabad. And we look at how the British newspapers are dealing with the World Cup - not the matches and the scores but their depiction of the host country, the preparations, atmosphere, heat and unrest.

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  • Mondrian, Van Gogh, Nicholson Baker, Hotel, The Dirties 07 Jun 14

    Sat, 7 Jun 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    The Dirties is about two friends planning to make a film about a Columbine-style school massacre, where the bullies will be made to pay for what they've done. Nicholson Baker's novel "Travelling Sprinkler" is about a poet who has fallen out of love with writing poems. Trying to become a songwriter, we see his personal life woven into his lyrics. A new exhibition at Tate Liverpool looks at how Piet Mondrian’s work evolved as he moved from studios in Paris and London to New York. A new audio walk "At the Crossroads with Vincent" explores turning-points in life through the perspective of Van Gogh’s letters to his brother. Polly Stenham’s play, Hotel, focusses on a dysfunctional family on holiday at a flash hotel in a poor country and has strong echoes of Shakespeare's The Tempest.

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  • Ken Loach, Joshua Ferris, The Normal Heart, 31 May 14

    Sat, 31 May 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Bakersfield Mist at London's Duchess Theatre stars Hollywood actress Kathleen Turner in a play about a woman who's convinced she's turned up a Jackson Pollock original in a junk shop. Ken Loach's new film Jimmy's Hall tells the story of the only Irishman ever to be deported from his own country as an illegal alien. To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is Joshua Ferris's novel about dentistry and the meaning of life. What can a man do when his analog life is hijacked and put on the internet? Whitstable Biennale is a festival of contemporary British art on the south coast of England, which grew out of the developing artists' community in the town. The Normal Heart was Larry Kramer's play about the AIDS epidemic in 1980s America. He's adapted it into a TV drama for HBO.

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  • Tim Winton's Eyrie, Kenneth Clark at Tate Britain, Heli, 24 May 14

    Sat, 24 May 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Tim Winton's new novel Eyrie tells the story of a man down on his luck, who tries to sew his life back together with the help of a former neighbour and her mysterious son. Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T' Be was the 1959 musical Lionel Bart wrote before his mega success with Oliver! Kenneth Clark was a man who made it his mission to bring art to the general public. A new exhibition at Tate Britain brings together hundreds of the works he collected or commissioned as well as showing excerpts from his seminal TV series Civilisation. Nick Frost plays a pretty hopeless chump called Jeremy Sloane in a new TV series for Sky. Mexican film Heli shows the tragic socially corrosive effect of drug culture on contemporary Mexican society through the involvement of one innocent family who are inadvertently drawn into crime and appalling violence.

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  • Incognito; Touchy Feely; Penny Dreadful; Ned Beauman’s Glow; 17 May 14

    Sat, 17 May 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    When Albert Einstein died in 1955, the pathologist performing his autopsy stole the brain, hoping to find out truths about the nature of genius. A new play by Nick Payne uses it as a starting point for an exploration of how our mind makes us who we are. The film Touchy Feely is the story of a masseuse who develops a loathing for skin and a dentist who seems to have extraordinary unprecedented gift for healing. Ned Beauman’s latest novel - Glow - is about an imaginary brand new psychotropic drug flooding the streets of London. Penny Dreadful is a TV series that creates a gory fictionalised Victorian London where many famous figures congregate - Frankenstein, Jack The Ripper, Dorian Grey. Andreas Gursky is a German photographer whose work is characterised by large scale manipulated images.

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