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Last Updated: Monday, 4 August, 2003, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
1 August 2003
This week the panel discussed:

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Terminator 3
if we have to have a T-3 movie, I would rather have this than what we could have had.
Mark Kermode

Twelve years after he told us he'd be back at the end of Terminator 2, Arnie's kept his promise and returns as the ageing T800 cyborg whose mission is to preserve the very existence of human kind.

But T3 is being viewed as more than one of the most expensive movies ever to have been made, some see it as the launch pad of Schwarzenegger's political career with the governorship of California now in his sights

Once again, Judgment day looms with Arnie coming back from the machine-run future to protect John Connor and Kate - his wife to be, the couple destined to lead the human resistance.

Leather clad and shaded, his lines are full of the usual deadpan irony and self-mockery but this time the threat comes in a more elegant form - Skynet's most sophisticated killing machine yet - the T-X or Terminatrix played by Kristanna Loke.

T3 is in cinemas now.

Regarding the Pain of Others

Susan Sontag
it's lovely to watch her muscular mind dealing with this issue.
Germaine Greer

The idea that being bombarded with photographic images of man's inhumanity to man can anesthetise the viewer was first put forward by the American writer Susan Sontag in 1977 in On Photography, the book which became a bible for media students and photojournalists alike.

Three decades later, though, and Sontag is not so sure and she now argues with her former self in an essay-cum-sermon called Regarding the Pain of Others.

It's as if her faith in the power of the photographic image to move people to act has been revitalised. Television, she argues, does numb and exhaust the viewer: but the still image has "the deeper bite particularly when it comes to how we remember or memorialise historical events.

Susan Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others is published by Hamish Hamilton.

The Transmigration of Souls

John Adams
it felt very empty to me.
Peter Hitchens

One of Sontag's criticisms of the celebrated Brazilian photographer Sebastion Selgado is that he never names any of the many suffering people that he photographs.

Not so the American composer John Adams, who intones a litany of names of those who died on September 11th 2001 throughout his most recent work called On the Transmigration of Souls.

Adams has often been nourished by contemporary events in his music: President Nixon's visit to China and the murder of a Jewish American by Arab terrorists on the Achile Lauro cruise ship led to two operas and last year he was commissioned to respond to the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.

The twenty minute piece involving an orchestra, recorded sound, and both an adult and children's chorus won a Pulitzer in the United States and was performed at the Proms last Sunday in London and is described by Adams as not a requiem or memorial but a "memory space".

You can hear the entire prom performance of John Adams's On The Transmigration of Souls on the BBC Proms website.


Its literally a heap of junk.
Peter Hitchens

The idea of losing yourself in a work of art is something that many creative people aspire to. But Mike Nelson has managed it quite literally in a number of his works, notably two labyrinthine installations he made in 2001.

The first was at the Venice Biennale in an old brewery where viewers had a choice of three journeys through what looked like a recently abandoned ship and then in the Turner Prize where he took gallery goers to the parts of the Tate that other artists had never reached - recreating a series of storage rooms which in turn stored other works by Nelson

The difficulty for artists like Nelson, though, is that their work is temporary and almost impossible to sell, however, the visionary and recently completed New Art Gallery in Walsall has just acquired a work made by Nelson for a show in Germany back in 1997 called Lionheart, a kind of hunter junk gatherer's encampment which the artist has just reassembled.

Lionheart by Mike Nelson is at the New Art Gallery in Walsall until 14 September.

The panel were:

Newsnight Review, BBC Two's weekly cultural round-up, follows Newsnight on Friday evenings at 2300 BST, 2200 GMT.

T3 still top class
31 Jul 03  |  Entertainment


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