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Last Updated: Friday, 20 January 2006, 13:42 GMT
Newsnight Review 20 January, 2006
Presented by Kirsty Wark

With guests:
John Harris
Kitty Empire
Paul Morley
Germaine Greer
John Harris
Kitty Empire
Paul Morley
Germaine Greer

This week

  • A COCK AND BULL STORY
  • GILBERT AND GEORGE
  • ARCTIC MONKEYS
  • THE VIRGIN QUEEN


    A Cock and Bull Story

    A Cock and Bull Story
    A Cock and Bull Story charts Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, with a host of others, attempting to make an adaptation of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, written by Laurence Sterne.

    Flipping back and forth between the 18th Century and the efforts of 21st Century film makers, the story starts with Tristram Shandy (Coogan) narrating his life story.

    Steve Coogan in A Cock and Bull Story
    At the end of filming Tristram's dramatic birth, Steve Coogan, and the other actors, begin a chaotic evening on set. Coogan's wife arrives with their baby, a journalist is chasing him about a scandalous story, his agent has arrived with a load of Hollywood scripts, and the film financiers are threatening to pull the plug.

    Directed by Michael Winterbottom, A Cock and Bull Story's cast also includes Shirley Henderson, Dylan Moran, David Walliams, Jeremy Northam, Kelly Macdonald, Ian Hart and Gillian Anderson.

    Publicity images from A Cock and Bull Story

  • CERTIFICATE 15
  • A COCK AND BULL STORY IS ON GENERAL RELEASE FROM 20 JANUARY


    Gilbert and George
    Sonofagod Pictures: Was Jesus Heterosexual?

    Free-Fall by Gilbert and George
    Free-Fall by Gilbert and George
    Gilbert & George met at art school in the 1960s and have been shocking the art world with their confrontational subject matter ever since.

    Quickly styling themselves as "living sculptures", their early work was performance art, including videos of them getting slowly drunk and live miming to the song "Underneath the Arches" while covered in metallic paint.

    They built their reputation with large scale photo montages, frequently brightly coloured and overlaid with black grids to resemble stained glass windows.

    Naked Shit Paintings in 1995 used sometimes shocking imagery of faeces, urine and semen and was widely acclaimed.

    They won the Turner Prize in 1986 and they represented Britain in the 2005 Venice Bienialle.

    Their latest exhibition at White Cube, the title alone seeming to court controversy, makes use of symbols from religion and folklore, particularly the crucifix, and focuses on questions of worship in a multi-faith environment.

  • SONOFAGOD PICTURES: WAS JESUS HETEROSEXUAL? IS AT THE WHITE CUBE GALLERY FROM 20TH JANUARY


    Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
    Arctic Monkeys

    The Arctic Monkeys

    The Arctic Monkeys, a four piece indie-rock outfit from Sheffield, were the most hyped band of 2005.

    Alex Turner, Jamie Cook, Andy Nicholson and Matthew Helders built their reputation by releasing samples on the internet.

    Although unsigned until June 2005 when they were picked up by Domino, their Reading and Leeds festival appearances were packed with fans who already knew all their lyrics.

    Their first single, I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor, went to number one in the singles charts in October 2005 and critics raved about their spiky, witty lyrics and catchy hooks.

    With sell out gigs at the end of the year, including at London Astoria, a wider fan base is now waiting to see if their first album can live up to expectations.

  • WHATEVER PEOPLE SAY I AM, THAT'S WHAT I'M NOT IS RELEASED ON THE DOMINO LABEL JANUARY 23RD


    The Virgin Queen
    BBC ONE

    Anne Marie Duff as The Virgin Queen

    This latest dramatic exploration of the long life of Elizabeth 1 comes in four instalments, with the Virgin Queen herself played by Anne-Marie Duff, best known for her role as Fiona in Channel 4's Shameless.

    It spans Elizabeth's life, starting with her early days as a princess, living in fear of her sister Queen Mary, her great love affair with Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, right through to her old age and the relationship with her young protégé, the Earl of Essex.

    The Virgin Queen is writer Paula Milne's first period drama and she described her approach:

    "I decided to look at Elizabeth as a character, a stateswoman and public figure using some contemporary references to see if they held up. What we have done in this drama which differs from the many portrayals of her in theatre, movies and television before is that we have taken the whole of her life."

    Central to the drama is the theory on Elizabeth's vow of chastity which is rather different from other representations: namely that the vow was real, not merely symbolic.

    Publicity images from The Virgin Queen

    Milne's interpretation has the vow serving an important purpose, ensuring she wouldn't have to share her throne and power, but also representing Elizabeth's fear of emotional and physical intimacy due to the childhood trauma of the execution of her mother Anne Boleyn, ordered by her father King Henry VIII.

    But is it different enough from the other many representations of Elizabeth's story to hold our attention?

    Following on from Helen Mirren's performance on the small screen last year, have we had enough of Elizabeth?

  • THE VIRGIN QUEEN STARTS ON SUNDAY 22ND JANUARY, BBC ONE AT 9PM


    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.




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