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Arts and Drama
FRONT ROW
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Weekdays 19:15-19.45
Radio 4's daily live magazine programme reporting on the world of arts, literature, film, media and music. 

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Mark Lawson, Francine Stock and John Wilson
Mark Lawson,  Francine Stock and John Wilson
LATEST PROGRAMME
Wednesday 22 May 2002

An image of the British Museum. Trouble behind the scenes at the British Museum
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WEDNESDAY NIGHT

* Pollock, a new film about the American Abstract Expressionist painter is released this week. Directed by and starring Ed Harris as the artist, it portrays the painter as intensely silent, erupting occasionally into gnomic phrases or alarming rages when fuelled by alcohol. The film attempts to show the evolution of his work, the patronage of Peggy Guggenheim, the influence of critics such as Clement Greenberg and the rivalry with his contemporaries, among them Willem de Kooning.

  Pollock opens on 24 May at cinemas nationwide, Certificate 18.
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* Two new bosses were announced today. Michael Lynch will abandon the sun-drenched curves of the Sydney Opera House for London’s South Bank Centre and Ian Brown, formerly of The Traverse, will take over from Jude Kelly at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. The British Museum is preparing for the arrival in August of new director Neil MacGregor, currently at the National Gallery, but he may find unrest within the institution. John Wilson reports on threat of strike at the British Museum.
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* Controversy has again struck the Booker Prize, this time not over who'll win it but over who's in it. Rumours discussed in this morning’s newspapers suggested the terms of the award might now change. It could be that the prize might now be open to American novels; only British and Commonwealth books are currently eligible. Front Row spoke to Martin Goff, chief administrator of the newly named Man Booker Prize. Was it in fact true as reported, would the terms of the competition change by 2004?
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Although a number of literary successes in recent years were translations, on the whole scant acknowledgement is given to the translator. Front Row talked to Julian Barnes and Christopher Hampton about the art of translating from French to English.

  Julian Barnes’ translation of In the Land of Pain, by Alphonse Daudet is published by Jonathan Cape.
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* No-one can claim Linda Grant’s novels lack ambition. Her first novel dealt with Communism, her second with the foundation of Israel. They were also, she likes to point out, about shopping and hairdressing. It is that mixture of the domestic and the political that characterises her writing. Her new novel, Still Here, is set amongst Jewish immigrants and emigrants, the point of departure being the city of Liverpool, Grant’s own home town. Did she think of it as a place where people arrived and left?

  Still Here by Linda Grant is published by Little Brown.
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ON THURSDAY'S PROGRAMME
Continuity errors in the cinema, two displays of pop art in Liverpool and reviews the new Bruce Wilis movie, Hart's War.

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