Steven Spielberg's political drama Lincoln follows America's 16th President as he battles to push the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery through the House of Representatives, before the Civil War ends. Daniel Day-Lewis stars in the title role, and is widely tipped to win an unprecedented third Oscar for his performance as the progressive statesman - indeed the film dominates this year's Oscar shortlist with twelve nominations. Released in the week that Barack Obama was sworn into office for a second time while holding Abraham Lincoln's own bible, does Spielberg’s film, focusing on one of America’s greatest leaders and the end to slavery, bring the telling of the American Civil war out of the “lost cause” canon? Or, like many that have gone before, is it another Hollywood reinterpretation of American history?Official website
Lincoln is in cinemas from 25 January.
The Turn of the Screw
Legendary British film company Hammer has branched into the theatre this year under the new subsidiary Hammer Theatre of Horror. Its inaugural production is Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s adaptation of Henry James’ ghost story The Turn of the Screw- directed by Lindsay Posner and co-produced by London's Almeida Theatre. The story of a governess who takes a job as guardian to two young children on a remote country estate, and the increasingly disturbing apparitions she witnesses, has inspired films starring Deborah Kerr and Nicole Kidman, and a Benjamin Britten opera. So following the success of their 2012 film The Woman in Black, how will Hammer make its mark on James’s classic?Almeida Theatre website
The Turn of the Screw is running at the Almeida Theatre in London
The Real George Orwell
This week saw the first Orwell Day, an annual celebration of the work of one of the 20th century’s most important writers. To mark the occasion four new editions of Orwell's best known works are being published and Radio 4 are launching a month of programming devoted to the author. New dramatizations of Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty Four, and Homage to Catalonia have been recorded, as well as readings of Down and Out in Paris and London and a series of biographical dramas exploring Eric Blair, the man behind the pen name, which explore his relationships with women and his political leanings.BBC Radio 4's Orwell season website
The Real George Orwell season begins on Radio 4 on Saturday 26 January.
Hailed as ground breaking in the States, the Emmy Award-winning series Louie arrived in the UK this week. The creation of writer, director and cult stand-up Louis C.K., the semi-autobiographical show centres on a divorced, middle-aged father of two and the awkward tribulations of his life. Each freeform episode features footage filmed at Louis C.K.’s stand-up nights at New York’s Comedy Cellar, intercut with scenes on diverse subjects such as gay sex, parent-teacher meetings and cringe-inducing dates. Will this reinvention of the traditional sitcom format prove as popular on this side of The Pond?FX's Louie website
Louie airs on Fox at 9pm on Tuesdays.
Manet: Portraying Life
The Royal Academy of Arts brings together 50 of Édouard Manet’s portraits for the first time, to explore the artist’s pioneering approach to portraiture. The paintings - drawn from collections around the world - include portraits of friends, family and contemporaries, including Claude Monet and Emile Zola. Manet, who preferred not to have his work shown alongside his Impressionist peers, was regarded by future generations of artists as the Father of Modern Art, so does this landmark exhibition help to embolden that claim? Portraying Life is at the Royal Academy of Arts from 26 January to 14 April.The Royal Academy of Arts website
- Kirsty Wark
- Executive Producer
- Andrew Lockyer