Night Waves (summary)

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Susan Hitch with another extended Undercurrents debate where politics, history, ideas and culture collide to reveal the real issues behind the week's news.

Frederic Raphael talks to Paul Allen about the third in his series of publications from his notebooks. Cuts and Bruise: Personal Terms 3 covers the 1970s - the period in which he wrote The Glittering Prizes. Also, a review of the Kandinsky exhibition at Tate Modern.

Artist Howard Hodgkin talks to Susan Hitch about his life and work, as a major retrospective gets underway at Tate Britain. Plus, a review of the new production of Tosca at the Royal Opera House.

Paul Allen is joined by David Edgar and others in front of an audience at the Harris Museum in Preston, to debate the rights of the artist.

As The Passenger, Antonioni's 1975 classic thriller is re-released, Matthew Sweet and guests reassess the film which stars Jack Nicholson as a reporter who switches identity with a dead friend.

Artist Howard Hodgkin talks to Susan Hitch about his life and work, as a major retrospective gets underway at Tate Britain. Plus, a review of the new production of Tosca at the Royal Opera House.

Film director Ken Loach talks to Matthew Sweet about his life and career, and especially the Palme d'Or winning new film, The Wind that Shakes the Barley. It tells the story of Ireland's struggle for independence from Britain in the 1920s, and has been described as 'the most pro-IRA film ever'.

Isabel Hilton talks to Mark Bowden, author of Blackhawk Down, about his new book, Guests of the Ayatollah, which tells the story of the abduction of 52 Americans in Iran in 1979.

Plus a first night review of Cheek By Jowl's all male production of Twelfth Night - performed by a company of Russian actors.

To mark Architecture Week, Isabel Hilton introduces the first in a week long series of letters from architects and writers imaging the city in 2056. Also, an interview with Michael Gove about his book Celsius 7/7, which argues that the West's policy of appeasement has been responsible for fundamentalist terror.

David Mitchell, author of the Man Booker prize shortlisted novel Cloud Atlas, talks to Matthew Sweet about his new book Black Swan Green.

Philip Dodd and guests with another in depth analysis of one of the great cultural landmarks.

Isabel Hilton presents another edition of the discussion programme that explores the history and ideas behind the week's headlines.

Paul Allen reviews Fateless, a Holocaust drama based on the acclaimed novel by Nobel Prize laureate and concentration camp survivor Imre Kertész.

In a programme length interview, film director Sam Mendes talks to Philip Dodd about his film Jarhead (a war film in which nothing happens) which is about to be released on DVD. He also discusses how his childhood deeply influences his choice of subject matter in his work and how his approach could be said to identify him as the Tony Blair of film and theatre.

Film maker Wim Wenders talks to Matthew Sweet about his new film, Don't Come Knocking.

Susan Hitch and guests look back at the General Strike of May 1926 and ask whether it is possible that we would ever see action on that scale again in Britain.

Gautam Malkani, author of the highly anticipated debut novel Londonstani, talks to Isabel Hilton.

David Edmonds and John Eidinow talk to Matthew Sweet about Rousseau's Dog - their follow up to their surprise hit about a famous philosophical spat, Wittgenstein's Poker. However, this time instead of Karl Popper and Ludwig Wittgenstein, it is David Hume and Jean-Jaques Rousseau squaring up to each other.

Jake Arnott's first novel, The Long Firm, was set in 1960s London and became a successful television series. He talks to Matthew Sweet about why he has turned away from crime fiction to write about the glam rock era of the 1970s in his new book, Johnny Come Home.

Philip Dodd with another edition of the arts and ideas programme.

The greatest show on earth is how the RSC's Artistic Director Michael Boyd describes his hopes for the Complete Works Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon. As the festival gets underway, Paul Allen and guests explore the Royal Shakespeare Company's function in the 21st century.

Matthew Sweet and guests discuss Paradise Now, a controversial new film by Hany Abu Assad that explores the fears and motivations of suicide bombers in Palestine.

"Remarkable twaddle" was the verdict of one critic when Sir Peter Hall, then a 24 year old director, brought Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot to the stage for the first time.

As part of Radio 3's Beckett Season, Sir Peter joins Paul Allen to explore why a play in which, famously, nothing happens twice, changed the face of theatre.

The military historian Richard Holmes' new book Dusty Warriors explores life in the modern army. He joins Philip Dodd and guests to discuss the changing role of the soldier.

As the exhibition Modernism: Designing a New World, opens at the V&A Museum in London, Susan Hitch asks whether Modernism should be remembered for its democracy or its snobbery.

Playwright Peter Shaffer talks to Paul Allen about his 1964 play The Royal Hunt of the Sun, which opens at the National Theatre, directed by Trevor Nunn.

Playwright Trevor Griffiths talks to Matthew Sweet as a season of his plays, including the European premiere of Camel Station, set in northern Iraq in 2001, opens at the Theatre Museum in London.

Paul Allen and guests discuss Opera North's new production Arms and the Cow - a political satire on the arms race.

Trumpeter Hugh Masekela talks to Philip Dodd about a career that has included performing with Louis Armstrong, Jimi Hendrix and Paul Simon; and about his return to South Africa after exile.

Nobel Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney talks to Susan Hitch about his latest collection, District and Circle, which includes poems on a childhood spent safe from the horrors of the Second World War.

Writer Jenny Diski talks to Philip Dodd about her new book Sitting Still; an account of doing absolutely nothing!.

Paul Allen talks to artist John Keane about his new series of paintings called In the House of Culture, inspired by the 2002 siege in a Moscow theatre.

Political economist Francis Fukuyama talks to Philip Dodd about his latest book, in which he argues that the Bush administration wrongly applied the principles of neoconservatism in the Iraq war.

Gabriel Gbadamosi and guests review the Rambert Dance Company premiere of Merce Cunningham's work Pond Way, at the Theatre Royal, Brighton.

US writer Jay McInerney talks to Susan Hitch about his latest novel The Good Life, in which he revisits characters from Brightness Falls, and explores the ways in which 9/11 transformed their lives.

Matthew Sweet visits Dodford, Gloucestershire to explore one of the last surviving cottages built as part of the Chartist movement which campaigned for social and economic reform in the 19th Century.

The Return of Faith

Exploring the resurgence of religion across the globe.

5/5. Philosopher Daniel Dennett and writer Karen Armstrong join Matthew Sweet to explore why religion seems to have made such a comeback on the world stage. Is it a part of our evolutionary make up that can't be argued away, or does it fill a moral vacuum created by the consumer society? Or is it the only means left available for the oppressed to express their powerlessness?

The Return of Faith

Exploring the resurgence of religion across the globe.

4/5. Philip Dodd and guests discuss Israel and the tensions that exist between religious and secular Jews regarding the direction of the nation's future.

The Return of Faith

A short series devoted to exploring the resurgence of religion across the globe.

3/5. Philip Dodd goes to Middle America to meet those battling for the heart of Evangelical Christianity. He talks to those who believe that The Rapture - the Biblical prophecy that heralds the end of the world - is brought ever closer by the conflict in Iraq, and tracks their attempts to influence foreign policy in the Middle East.

But he also talks to Evangelicals who are pushing for a more earth-bound Christian activism, that cares as much about environmentalism as abortion, homosexuality and Armageddon.

The Return of Faith

A short series devoted to exploring the resurgence of religion across the globe.

2/5. Paul Allen and guests discuss China's surprising new found relationship with the 'opium of the masses'. They debate the excesses of the new consumer capitalism and the disillusionment of China's 100 million itinerant workers for whom the economic miracle has not happened, but upon whom the economy and the 2008 Olympics depend.

The Return of Faith

A short series devoted to exploring the resurgence of religion across the globe.

1/5. Isabel Hilton goes to Central Anatolia in Turkey to meet the new breed of Islamic entrepreneurs, busy quoting Max Weber whilst creating a radical new hybrid of Islam and Calvinism.

Paul Allen and guests discuss the award winning South African film Tsotsi, which tells the story of six days in the violent life of a young Johannesburg gang leader.

Gabriel Gbadamosi explores the bloody history of art and self-mutilation and talks to two contemporary practitioners who abuse their bodies in the name of art: Franko B and Alice Newstead.

Director Michael Winterbottom talks to presenter Philip Dodd about a career that has included films such as Welcome to Sarajevo, In This World, and A Cock and Bull Story.

He also discusses his latest TV project - The Road to Guantanamo which tells the story of the Tipton Three, who were held in Guantanamo Bay for two years until they were released without charge.

Julia Kristeva talks to Matthew Sweet about her new book Murder in Byzantium, which combines medieval history, philosophy, psychoanalytic theory and autobiography in a murder mystery thriller.

Susan Hitch and guests debate Confucius, including the idea that culture and music, in particular, has a real moral force, encouraging kindness, sensitivity and upright moral character.

Booker Prize-winning author Margaret Atwood talks to Matthew Sweet about her new book of short stories, The Tent.

Jeremy Isaacs joins Matthew Sweet and guests to discuss how television has evolved over its lifetime and whether the hopes and fears that accompanied its introduction have been realised.

Jeremy has worked in television for nearly half a century as the editor of Panorama, the producer of The World at War and the founding Chief Executive of Channel 4. He has just published his autobiography Look Me in the Eye.

Director Robert Altman talks to Susan Hitch about his production of Arthur Miller's Resurrection Blues, a black comedy satirising the materialism of modern culture, which premieres at the Old Vic.

Sociologist Richard Sennett talks to Philip Dodd about his book, The Culture of the New Capitalism, which discusses the ways in which a more global version of capitalism is changing the work ethic.

Playwright Mark Ravenhill talks to Gabriel Gbadamosi about his new work, The Cut, which opens at the Donmar Warehouse in London and stars Ian Mckellen

In a special programme to mark the launch of the National Theatre of Scotland, Paul Allen goes walkabout to find out what the job of a national theatre entails.

Linda Grant talks to Isabel Hilton about her new book, The People on the Street: A Writer's View of Israel.

As Philip Seymour Hoffman's Oscar-nominated portrayal of Truman Capote comes to the big screen in Capote, Susan Hitch and guests discuss the ethical issues thrown up by the film. They revisit Janet Malcolm's classic study The Journalist and the Murderer, which explores similar issues.

Philip Dodd talks to Howard Brenton about the revival of his controversial play, The Romans in Britain; his latest acclaimed play, Paul, and his relationship with belief.

Paul Allen digs into the murky world of politics and archaeology by considering Heather Pringle's book The Master Plan: Himmler's Scholars and the Holocaust, which tells the story of the Nazi research institute set up to try and prove that all the great accomplishments of the past were the work of the Aryan race.

Jonathan Kaplan talks to Matthew Sweet about his new book Contact Wounds: A War Surgeon's Education, which tells of a career spent trying to save lives whilst caught in the crossfire of battle, including, at one point, being the only surgeon trying to serve 160,000 people in war torn Angola.

Philip Dodd talks the founders of Participant Productions, a Hollywood company dedicated to producing films specifically aimed at raising social awareness. He discusses two of the firm's most acclaimed productions to date - Syriana and Good Night and Good Luck, both starring George Clooney.

As Tate Britain unveils its Gothic Nightmares exhibition, Isabel Hilton is joined by Christopher Frayling and Charles Palliser to explore what binds together the concept of the Gothic in art forms.

Matthew Sweet meets Lee Hall, the man who wrote Spoonface Steinberg, Cooking with Elvis and the screenplay for Billy Elliot. He has a version of Beaumarchais' Barber of Seville playing in Bristol.

Paul Allen talks to Alexander Maitland, the latest biographer of travel writer and explorer Wilfred Thesiger. They search for the man behind the legend. Plus more Gothic dreams and nightmares.

In 1980, the National Theatre staged what turned out to be one of the most controversial British plays since the Second World War. Now, Howard Brenton's The Romans in Britain is being given its first major revival. In a rare, extended interview, Philip Dodd talks to Brenton about the new production, his television work and his long career in the theatre, including two new plays.

The world of Black American experience has few if any better chroniclers than artist Kerry James Marshall. Susan Hitch investigates on the eve of an exhibition containing 30 years of work.

As Tate Britain prepares for its Gothic Nightmares exhibition, Night Waves invites artists, musicians, film makers and writers to celebrate their Gothic dreams.

Kicking off the week-long series of letters is composer Gavin Bryars, who talks about the piece of Gothic music that makes the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.

Susan Hitch grapples with Werner Herzog's latest film, Grizzly Bear. Like so much of the director's work, the film deals with one man's obsession - in this case conservation.

Landmarks: Matthew Sweet talks to Will Self and Mike Hodges about Stanislaw Lem's extraordinary 1961 science fiction novel Solaris and Andrei Tarkovsky's mesmeric film adaptation made ten years later.

Isabel Hilton with another debate exploring the ideas and history behind the headlines of the week.

Night Waves dons its combat fatigues to explore an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in London that charts the history of the civilian and military use of camouflage.

Philip Dodd talks to one of Latin America's greatest hopes for the Nobel prize for literature, Carlos Fuentes. Why does he still find such dismay and exhilaration in the Mexican revolution?

Artist Maggi Hambling talks to Gabriel Gbadamosi about her new work.

As an adaptation of her novel Nights at the Circus opens at the Lyric Hammersmith in London, Matthew Sweet and guests discuss the vivid prose of Angela Carter.

Isabel Hilton with another edition of the arts and ideas programme.

Historian Stella Tillyard talks to Susan Hitch about her new book A Royal Affair: George III and His Troublesome Siblings.

Paul Allen and guests discuss Steven Spielberg's controversial new film Munich, about Israeli reprisals against the Palestinians responsible for the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics.

Matthew Sweet with another edition of the arts and ideas programme.

Paul Allen is joined by Martin Rowson to discuss A Cock and Bull Story, Michael Winterbottom's adaptation of Laurence Sterne's 18th century novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.

Philip Dodd explores the enduring fascination with the American Civil War, talking to guests including the acclaimed novelist EL Doctorow. The writer discusses why he has chosen the war as the subject of his latest book, The March, and reveals why he believes the struggle between North and South is still reverberating today.

Susan Hitch and guests discuss the life and work of HL Mencken; newspaper man, critic, iconoclast and one of America's most influential writers of the 20th Century.

Isabel Hilton presents the arts and ideas magazine, including news of the winner of the 2005 TS Eliot Prize for Poetry and an interview with writer Michael Moorcock.

Augusten Burroughs, author of the acclaimed memoir Running With Scissors, talks to Paul Allen about his first novel Sellevision.

Turner prize-winning artist Grayson Perry talks to Philip Dodd about his autobiography, Grayson Perry: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl.

In a programme length interview, film director Sam Mendes talks to Philip Dodd about his latest film Jarhead, a war film in which nothing happens. He also discusses how his childhood deeply influences his choice of subject matter in his work and how his approach could be said to identify him as the Tony Blair of film and theatre.

Memoirs of A Geisha has already caused controversy for its casting of mainly Chinese actors in the principal roles in the film adaptation of Arthur Golden's best selling novel set in 1930s and 40s Japan.

But what other liberties has this Hollywood movie taken with history and the original book? Isabel Hilton and guests explore.

Matthew Sweet ventures into the dark history of the forbidden experiment - the deliberate long-term isolation of children with the aim of discovering truths about human nature.

Why have human beings, from Ancient Egypt onwards, been drawn to such a cruel test?

Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson is directing King Kong. Can the 1933 classic be remade, or is the project a poisoned chalice? Paul Allen investigates.

Philip Dodd with another extended Undercurrents debate where politics, history, ideas and culture collide to reveal the real issues behind the week's news.

Should truth rule supreme? What are the effects if it does? These questions are central to The Wild Duck - one of the most explosive plays by the father of modern theatre, Henrik Ibsen.

As a new version opens at London's Donmar Warehouse, directed by David Eldridge, Mathew Sweet looks at the play in which a son exposes his father's duplicity.