John Singleton remembered, Afghanistan's music scene, Tolkien reviewed, the effect of music on the brain
We assess the work of Boyz n the Hood director John Singleton, take a look at Afghanistan's music scene and review Tolkien biopic which stars Nicholas Hoult
JRR Tolkien’s literary canon has inspired some of the highest-grossing films ever, now a biopic about his life is being released to cinemas. Tolkien stars Nicholas Hoult as The Lord of the Rings author and looks at his formative years at school and during World War One. But last week the family of Tolkien have issued a rare public statement disavowing the film. Fantasy author and Tolkien fan Samantha Shannon gives her verdict on the film and the disapproval from the Tolkien estate.
John Singleton directed Boyz n the Hood when he was 24, becoming the youngest director, and the first African-American to be Oscar nominated. He also worked with rap artists such as Ice Cube, Tupac and Snoop Dogg as well as making the music video to Michael Jackson’s hit Remember the Time which starred Eddy Murphy and Iman. Music journalist Jacqueline Springer considers his legacy.
For the first time in its 14 year history, the Afghanistani TV talent competition Afghan Star, has been won by a woman. Journalist Sahar Zand discusses the status of music and women in a country still recovering from the authoritarian rule of the Taliban which banned music and severely restricted women's rights. It's the topic of her new documentary The Art of Now: Afghan Stars which is on Radio 4 next week.
Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto and Dr Erik Scherder, Professor in Clinical Neuropsychology, talk about their series of concerts exploring the influence of music on the brain. They demonstrate how music is experienced by brains in different states such as a developing brain, an adult brain, or a vulnerable brain affected by diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
Presenter: Samira Ahmed
Producer: Hannah Robins
John Singleton remembered
Main image: John Singleton
Image credit: Mathew Eisman/Getty Images
Afghanistan's music scene
Afghan Stars: Fighting back with music is on BBC Radio 4 at 1130 on 07 May, and on 11 May 2019, as well as on the BBC iPlayer.
Image: Afghan Stars: Fighting back with music presenter Sahar Zand (Left) with Zahra Elham, one of the Afghan Stars contestants on the Afghan Stars TV set.
The effect of music on the brain
Pekka Kuusisto, the Wigmore Hall's artist in residence plays Bach, Kreutzer, Adès, Widmann and Paganini alongside on his violin alongside visual designer Jukka Huitila and a talk by the neurophychologist Dr Erik Scherder to demonstrate the strength and beauty of music when experienced by different human brains at The Wigmore Hall, London on 01 May 2019. Pekka Kuusisto also performs at the BBC proms in August 2019.
Image: Pekka Kuusisto
Image credit: Felix Broede