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Last Updated: Friday, 2 December 2005, 17:16 GMT
Newsnight Review 2 December, 2005

Kirsty Wark
Paul Morley
Ian Rankin
Sarah Churchwell
Deborah Bull
Presented by Kirsty Wark with guests:

Paul Morley
Ian Rankin
Sarah Churchwell
Deborah Bull


This week:
NARNIA
LENNON
EDWARD SCISSORHANDS
CHOPRA TOWN
SOUAD MASSI


Narnia

Publicity image from Narnia
The first big screen adaptation of CS Lewis' classic, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe follows the exploits of the four Pevensie siblings.

Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter are sent from London as Blitz evacuees to the rambling country house of the mysterious, eccentric, but twinklingly benevolent, Professor Kirke (Jim Broadbent).

The children enter the world of Narnia through a magical wardrobe while playing a game of hide-and-seek.

There they discover an extraordinary land inhabited by talking beasts, fauns, dwarfs, centaurs, and giants.

The evil White Witch Jadis (Tilda Swinton), however, has cursed the once-charming and peaceful land with eternal winter.

Under the guidance of a noble and mystical ruler, the lion Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson), the children fight to overcome the White Witch's powerful hold over Narnia.

Like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it was shot in the spectacular backdrops provided by New Zealand (director Andrew Adamson's native land) and uses 1,700 special effects shots and computer generated images.

Publicity images from Narnia

There are convincingly natural talking animals, ghoulish creatures, vicious wolves and some intense scenes of battle.

But can Andrew Adamson do justice to this powerful classic that has sold over 100 million copies worldwide and bewitched generations of children?

  • CERTIFICATE PG
  • NARNIA OPENS NATIONWIDE ON 8 DECEMBER, 2005


    Lennon

    On the 25th anniversary of his death, TV and radio mark the life and times of John Lennon.

    John Lennon
    Channel 4 is showing I Killed John Lennon, a film which tells the story of the legendary singer's assassination - in the words of his killer Mark Chapman.

    The documentary reveals a series of taped interviews that Chapman conducted with journalist Jack Jones in prison, while dramatically reconstructing key events from the day of the killing.

    The hour-long documentary also includes contributions from key witnesses and observers who have been close to the Chapman story over the past 25 years.

  • I KILLED JOHN LENNON: 8 DECEMBER, 10PM ON CHANNEL 4

    The BBC has a Lennon Remembered season, a series of documentaries on BBC Radio.

    The Wenner Tapes is the first UK broadcast of excerpts from a 1970 interview which John Lennon himself referred to as "definitive".

    The interview, with Rolling Stone magazine co-founder and editor Jan Wenner, took place shortly after the Beatles split. In it, Lennon accuses former band-member Paul McCartney of being "form and no substance" and claims their song-writing relationship was over as early as 1962, after which "we did our best work apart".

    It documents the Beatles' career and split with painstaking emotion, and at times excruciating detail, and serves as a major and controversial point of exorcism for Lennon. It was the last interview he ever gave with such candour.

    Bigger Than Jesus (Radio 2, 3 December, 8.00pm), presented by Paul McGann, tells of Lennon's interview with Maureen Cleave - in which he stated: "We're more popular than Jesus now. I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity" - and its aftermath.

  • THE WENNER TAPES: 3 DECEMBER, 7PM ON RADIO 4
  • BIGGER THAN JESUS: 3 DECEMBER, 8.30PM ON RADIO 2
  • CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THE LENNON REMEMBERED SEASON


    Edward Scissorhands

    Publicity image from Edward Scissorhands
    Sadler's Wells presents a theatrical version of Tim Burton's gothic fairytale about a boy created with scissors instead of hands by an eccentric inventor.

    Adapted by Matthew Bourne and his New Adventures team (Play Without Words; Nutcracker!; Swan Lake) the work uses Danny Elfman's original film score, reworked by Terry Davies.

    The part of Edward (Sam Archer/Richard Winsor) is danced throughout with foot-long scissorhand extensions and is choreographed to enhance the sense of danger these bring to the suburbanites he finds himself among.

    Large sections of the story are told through mime without dance and the result is less a traditional ballet than musical theatre.

    Publicity images from Edward Scissorhands

    Tickets have been going fast since going on sale.

  • PLAYING AT SADLER'S WELLS THEATRE, LONDON UNTIL 5 FEBRUARY, 2006


    Chopra Town
    BBC ONE

    Chopra Town is a new comedy drama on BBC ONE specifically written for its star, Sanjeev Bhaskar (The Kumars at No 42, Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee).

    Sanjeev plays Vik Chopra, a British Asian private detective working in and around the cultural melting pot of East London.

    The local people all share a strong sense of pride and a deep mistrust of the police; myriad immigrant communities bring their quirky cases to ex-cop Chopra, whose police training and street-wise savvy-ness deliver the goods.

    Aided by his somewhat overly enthusiastic assistant Annie (Natalie Casey - Two Pints of Lager, Hollyoaks) and hindered by ex-mate and newly promoted Detective Inspector Nigel Caro (Neil Stuke - Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky), Vik juggles handling his job, the demands of his estranged wife and baby daughter, and his overbearing parents.

    The programme also stars Omid Djalili, Basienka Blake and Morwenna Banks.

    It was created by Anil Gupta, Richard Pinto and Sharat Sardana (Goodness Gracious Me, The Kumars At No 42), written by Richard Pinto and produced by Anil Gupta.

  • CHOPRA TOWN IS ON BBC ONE ON 19 DECEMBER AT 9PM


    Souad Massi

    The cover of Souad Massi's album, Mesk Elil
    Souad Massi's album, Mesk Elil
    Souad Massi is an Algerian singer-songwriter. Although influenced as a teenager by bands such as AC/DC and INXS she initially performed with a traditional Andalusian band Les Trianas d'Alger.

    When she began to forge her own sound, fusing traditional Algerian with western music, she found herself on the fundamentalist militia's hit list and lost her job.

    Massi had given up on pursuing a music career until a performance at a Women of Algeria festival in Paris in 1999 led to a Universal France contract and a move abroad.

    She is currently nominated for an Award for World Music for her latest album Mesk Elil.

  • MESK ELIL IS AVAILABLE ON THE WRASSE LABEL


    Newsnight Review is broadcast after Newsnight every Friday at 11pm on BBC Two.

    Don't forget that you can watch Newsnight Review online via this website. The programme is available in broadband from 1200 BST on the Saturday after originally broadcast for one week.




  • SEE ALSO:
    Tapes of Lennon's killer to air
    17 Nov 05 |  Entertainment


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