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Saturday Review
Saturday 7.15 - 8.00pm.
Saturday Review offers sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events.
This week
Saturday 13 March 2009
Listen to this programme in full
Charlize Theron in The Burning Plain
Charlize Theron in The Burning Plain…the road to Baghdad Airport - recreated in a west London shopping centre…and a comment or six on online comment threads...
Contact Saturday Review with your reaction to comments made and issues raised on the programme.
Presenter: Tom Sutcliffe

Columnist David Aaronovitch
Theatre critic Susannah Clapp
Writer and former diplomat Rory Stewart

The Burning Plain
Guillermo Arriaga, screenwriter of Amores Perros and 21 Grams, is famous for his teasing, split-time take on movie storytelling.

In his debut as a director, Charlize Theron plays a sad, sex-addicted restaurant manager. Kim Basinger is a worn-out mum renewed by an affair with a married Mexican man. And a young, motherless girl watches her father suffer a terrible accident.

But when their stories come together, does the film add up to more than the sum of itsparts?

The Burning Plain  is on selected release now, certificate fifteen.

London’s Museum of Mankind was home to the British Museum’s ethnographic collection until it closed in 1998. After a decade with no very clear purpose, it has been reinvented as the home of the commercial gallery Haunch of Venison. Their first show aims to turn the whole space into a cabinet of curiosities – but how curious did it leave the panel?

Mythologies continues at the new Haunch of Venison gallery in central London until 26 April.

Tom, Rory, David and Susannah visit the Jordanian capital Amman – as recreated in a west London shopping centre.

In Adam Brace’s new promenade play, the audience become conference delegates, civilians in a curfew and mourners, as they follow the story of a British soldier turned private security guard. Alan is trying to find his friend Eddy, who has gone AWOL in a city overshadowed by the conflict in Iraq.

Stovepipe continues at the West 12 shopping centre in West London until 26 April. Check the Bush Theatre and the National Theatre for details.

Beirut, I Love You
The artist Zena el-Khalil was born in London, grew up in Nigeria, and went to university in Beirut and New York. During the 2006 Lebanon War she maintained a blog recording the impact of the conflict from inside the Lebanese capital. Now, in her first novel, she explores why, of all the places in the world she could live, she has for so long been drawn to Beirut.

Beirut, I Love You by Zena el-Khalil is published by Saqi Books.

Comment Threads
What do you think about the items in today’s programme? Have your say here!

But first, listen to the panel discuss how the ‘threads’ of comments that now proliferate after many articles on newspaper websites have become a genre in themselves. Are they a valuable new forum for debate, or a noisy echo chamber? And what exactly is a dittohead?

To comment on the programme, or join the discussion on the Radio 4 arts message boards, scroll down from here and look on the right hand side of the screen
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