Tom Sutcliffe and guests Ekow Eshun, Andreas Whittam Smith and Linda Grant offer sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events.
The much hyped Silver Lion winning film "The Master", directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams comes under scrutiny. Set in post World War 2 America, it explores a familiar narrative trope, the relationship between master and pupil, but in a very unfamiliar and deeply cinematic way, and through the prism of a cult which bears many parallels with the Church of Scientology - of whom Tom Cruise is a member, and co-incidentally starred in an earlier film by the director, Magnolia
"Dear Life" by Alice Munro - winner of the Man Booker International Prize in 2009, a lifetime career award - is a new collection of short stories from the writer who has never written a novel, and whom other writers such as Jonathan Franzen and AS Byatt compare to Chekhov and Flaubert. Now 81, this collection may well be her last. It includes 14 short stories,as well as a postscript which contains four illuminating autobiographical pieces, from a writer who has always been reluctant to reveal much about her private life.
Lucy Kirkwood's new play NSFW premieres at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre downstairs. NSFW is an acronym for Not Safe For Work and refers internet sites not thought suitable for office viewing. Set in the cut throat world media world, its a timely new comedy which exposes power games and privacy in the age of Photoshop and how they impact on gender politics. Starring Janie Dee and Julian Barratt, star of The Mighty Boosh.
Seduced by Art, Photography Past and Present at the National Gallery is the first exhibition to explore the historical link between fine art - including the Old Masters - and photography, foregrounding the work of great photographers from Julia Margaret Cameron and Roger Fenton to Rineke Dijkstra and Sam Taylor Wood. What is the connection between the history of painting, the earliest decades of photography and work by some of the most innovative photographers active today?
And a new adaptation of Charles Dickens's "Nicholas Nickleby" on BBC Daytime Television, "Nick Nickleby" starring Adrian Dunbar and Linda Bassett. A five-part adaptation, stripped across weekday afternoons, it has been updated to reflect concerns and questions about modern Britain. Dickens' exploration of corruption within private boarding schools is transposed to care-homes for the elderly. Just as Dickens did, the drama invites the audience to reflect on how the vulnerable suffer when the pursuit of profit is valued more than human kindness.