10/11/2012

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Tom Sutcliffe and guests - the novelist Tracy Chevalier, critic Sarfraz Manzoor and director of the Serpentine Gallery Julia Peyton-Jones - discuss the cultural highlights of the week, including Alan Bennett's new play "People" starring Frances de la Tour and Linda Bassett which opens at the National Theatre this week. The play explores the theme of heritage Britain and the price we put on privacy - through the prism of analysing available options for elderly sisters occupying a grand stately home in an advanced state of decay.

Ben Affleck directs and stars in Argo, a feature film which manages to be both political thriller and hilarious satire on the movie business itself. It's based on a real story in which the CIA funds a fake science fiction movie in order to rescue six fugitive Americans holed up in the Canadian Ambassador's house as the Iranian revolution reaches boiling point in November 1979. Can a fake bad film make a real good one?

The Taj Mahal is one of the Wonders of the World - but how much do we know about the culture that created it? Mughal India, Art Culture and Empire at the British Library is the first exhibition to document the entire historical period of the Mughals - one of the greatest dynasties of world history - from the 16th to the 19th century, through more than 200 exquisite manuscripts and the finest paintings drawn almost exclusively from the British Library's extensive heritage collection. At its peak the empire encompassed India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Michael Winterbottom has made 17 films in 15 years - his latest, Everyday, was made for Channel 4 and shot over a period of five years. Starring Shirley Henderson and John Simm, with four children from the same North Norfolk family - it's shot in their home and at their school - the film explores the effect a long term prison sentence has on the wife and children of the offender.

The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vasquez won Spain's top literary prize 2011 - the Alfaguara is also one of the richest prizes in the world, with prize money at over £100,000. The author was born in 1973 and says that the relationship his country has with the drug trade has shaped his life. The book is set in the 1990s when the war between drug baron Pablo Escobar and the government who were trying to stop his illegal activities was at its height.

Producer: Hilary Dunn.

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45 minutes

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Sat 10 Nov 2012 19:15