Harriet, Les Misérables and social realist films, risk in publishing, street art
The story of the slave abolitionist Harriet Tubman has finally made it to the big screen where she is played by Cynthia Erivo. Gaylene Gould reviews.
After France’s President Macron was reportedly “shaken by the accuracy” of new French film Les Misérables, depicting life today in the deprived outer suburbs of Paris, French critic Agnès Poirier joins us to discuss modern attitudes toward social realist cinema in the UK, France and elsewhere.
The Christmas sales are the most important time in the publishing industry as sees a number of companies go from the red into the black. As they continue their reflections on how the book industry operates, literary agent Clare Alexander and publisher John Mitchinson consider the nature of risk, and whether it pays to be one of the big conglomerates or a small independent outfit.
And Jonathan Moberly explains how the Weavers Community Action Group commissioned street artists — calling themselves the Columbia Road Cartel — to combat drug dealing in their local area.
Presenter: Kirsty Lang
Producer: Hilary Dunn
Frozen's Idina Menzel, Dora Maar, power in publishing
Idina Menzel, famous for singing Let It Go from the film Frozen, provides the voice once more of Elsa, now Queen of Arendelle and still with magical powers, in the sequel Frozen 2. The singer discusses the early concept for her character in what became the biggest-grossing animated film of all time, and how Elsa has grown up in the years since the original.
The new Frozen 2 film has been long awaited but does the plastic merchandise brought out to accompany the film line up with its environmental concerns? Environment journalist Lucy Siegle takes stock.
The first UK retrospective of the work of Dora Maar opens at Tate Modern today. The artist, who died in 1997 aged 89, was best known for her provocative photographs and her surrealist photomontages, as well as her productive eight-year relationship with Picasso. Jacky Klein reviews.
Literary agent Clare Alexander and publisher John Mitchinson continue their discussions on how the publishing industry works, focusing today on where the power lies. There's no denying the influence of Amazon, but that's far from the whole story.
Presenter Kirsty Lang
Producer Jerome Weatherald
Taylor Swift rights row, RJ Palacio, Nan Goldin and Judy Chicago reviewed, Le Mans '66 reviewed, Amazon's impact on publishing
RJ Palacio’s first novel Wonder has been published in 45 languages, sold 5 million copies worldwide and been made into a film starring Julia Roberts. We speak to RJ about her new graphic novel White Bird which tells the back story of the classroom bully from Wonder, Julian, whose Jewish grandmother fled from the Nazis.
A row involving Taylor Swift and her former record label has been resolved - for now. Music industry lawyer Duncan Lamont explains whether the company has the right to block Swift performing her old songs, and if this might be a landmark case for songwriters.
Britcar Endurance Championship winner Sarah Moore dreams of successfully taking part in Le Mans, the iconic 24 hour French competition. She gives a racing driver's view of new film Le Mans '66 as it tears up the American box office.
Publishers are now approaching the most important time of the year with Christmas sales, and all this week we're investigating different aspects of the books business. Today, agent and former publisher Clare Alexander, and John Mitchinson, co-founder of the crowdfunding publisher Unbound and former Marketing Director of Waterstones, consider the biggest change to have happened to publishing in the last 25 years – the arrival of Amazon.
The artist Nan Goldin is well known for her protest against the corporate sponsorship of the arts by the Sackler Trust who own companies connected to the opioid crisis in America, and her new deeply personal show discusses her own addiction. And the Baltic in Gateshead are hosting the biggest show of Judy Chicago's work ever seen in the UK, but the exhibition omits her most famous piece, The Dinner Party. Emily Steer, Editor of Elephant magazine reviews both shows.
Presenter: John Wilson
Producer: Hannah Robins
Dear Evan Hansen, Emmanuel Jal, How to Make a Living as a Writer
Dear Evan Hansen is the Tony award winning musical about a socially anxious teenager who, via a web of lies, gets caught up in social media adulation following a classmate’s suicide. As the musical opens in London’s West End amidst much anticipation, co-creator Steven Levenson talks about turning such a sensitive story into a life affirming show.
We speak to former child soldier, Sudanese hip-hop star Emmanuel Jal, about his fifth album, Naath, a collaboration with his sister who lives in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. Emmanuel performs a track from the album which combines afrobeats with folklore offering an alternative perception of life in South Sudan.
As the busiest month of the publishing calendar begins, two seasoned insiders will be giving us their perspective on the state of the book world every day this week, from the arrival of Amazon in 1995 to the continuing popularity of the printed page in the digital age. Today, agent and former publisher Clare Alexander, and John Mitchinson, co-founder of the crowdfunding publisher Unbound, consider how feasible it is to make a living as a writer today.
And we pay tribute to Terry O'Neill, the photographer whose iconic images documented the fashions, styles, and celebrities of the 1960s, hearing from O'Neill himself in an interview with John Wilson from Front Row in 2010.
If you've been affected by any issue raised in this programme, information and support can be found on this website:
Presenter: Samira Ahmed
Producer: Simon Richardson
Northern Ballet at 50, Art B&B, Iced Bodies
As Northern Ballet reaches its half century, the company's Artistic Director David Nixon discusses his love of telling stories through Dance.
Ever fancied sleeping in an artwork? Soon you’ll be able to do exactly that at the Art B&B – a new hotel in Blackpool which has commissioned 30 artists to turns its rooms into works of art. Michael Trainor, Creative Director of the Art B&B explains the vision for the hotel, and Arts journalist Laura Robertson shares her thoughts on the new establishment after getting an early preview.
When the African-American cellist Seth Parker Woods came across a photograph taken in the 1970s of the avant-garde cellist Charlotte Moorman - nude and playing a cello made from ice, the image stayed with him. Charlotte’s performance was in part a feminist statement but Seth and his partner in this project, Spencer Topel, have reimagined the work as a statement on race. As they prepare Iced Bodies for its UK premiere at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival they discuss fusing art with activism.
Presenter: Keisha Thompson
Producer: Ekene Akalawu