BBC TwoNewsnight Review
Last Updated: Friday, 21 December 2007, 20:44 GMT
Newsnight Review of the Year 2007

Newsnight Review presenter Kirsty Wark reflects back on year in culture.

Kirsty Wark
By Kirsty Wark
Newsnight Review Presenter

First I would like to thank the Review audience for joining us on the Review rollercoaster this year - the critics have been sometimes spiky, sometimes funny, sometimes devastating in their critique, but I hope never boring.

It's been a pretty mixed harvest and when I was thinking back on the year with Tanya, Review's editor, I would mention something standout and she would gently remind me it was from 2006!

But on Friday night in the company of Paul Morley | Julie Myerson | Michael Gove | Ekow Eshun we'll revisit some of the highs and the lows of this year .


Movie highlights

The Lives of Others
At the Cannes film festival this year The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was my highlight and it's being released here next year. Also acclaimed was The Lives of Others, and another small budget gem from a first time director was Control.

  • The Lives of Others is available on DVD
  • Control is still in selected cinemas, and will be released on DVD on 11 Feb 2008


    From the Booker to Harry Potter

    Robert Harris, who was once close to Tony Blair, wrote a novel about a god-fearing (former) prime minister in The Ghost.

    Harry Potter

    Although Anne Enright was a worthy winner of this year's Booker Prize, Mr Pip, written by Lloyd Jones was an engaging read.

    Harry Potter: This was the year that the most famous boy wizard in the world came to the end of one journey and the start - perhaps - of another?

    Dave Eggers told the moving story of Valentino Achak Deng, one of the so-called Lost Boys of Sudan, who left the country aged six as civil war broke out. The fictionalised account of Deng's story is called What is the What.

  • Harry Potter by JK Rowling is published by Bloomsbury
  • What is the What by Dave Eggers is published by Hamish Hamilton


    Malcolm and Barbara

    Cranford brought a great glow to the winter nights, and earlier in the year Irvine Welsh wrote a fabulous female comedy drama - Wedding Belles.

    We'll be taking another look at two very different highlights; the sci-fi drama series Heroes which tapped into our fascination with ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and Paul Watson's documentary Malcolm and Barbara: Love's Farewell.

    Malcolm and Barbara
    This powerful documentary saw Watson return to Malcolm and Barbara Pointon whom he'd first filmed as Malcolm was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

    It caused a brief controversy as the film seemed to show Malcolm Pointon dying on screen, when in fact he died a few days after the filming.

  • Heroes series two is coming to BBC2 in 2008, series one is available on DVD


    Cracking shows

    National Gallery
    The Columbian artist Doris Salcedo produced a permanent scar in Tate Modern's Turbine Hall, and at the National Gallery the faces in the Dutch Portraits exhibition told many stories.

    These were just two of many shows including a hit Andy Warhol exhibition in Edinburgh.

  • Shibboleth by Doris Salcedo remains in the Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, until 6 April 2008


    The Red Death

    Saint Joan
    On stage Anne - Marie Duff was mesmerising as Saint Joan in Marianne Elliot's revival of George Bernard Shaw's play at the National Theatre, and had every bit as good a year as her husband James McAvoy who starred in the films The Last King of Scotland and Atonement.

    We had a macabre and sometimes menacing theatrical experience at The Masque of the Red Death, in a building dressed up as the stories of Edgar Allan Poe . I found the audience cloaked and masked (as we all were) as scary as the action.

  • Masque of the Red Death is at the Battersea Arts Centre until 12 April 2008


    Old rockers return

    In music Amy Winehouse kept making music despite it all. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss are getting plaudits for their collaboration, and talking of older men - this was the year of the reunion from Cream, to Led Zeppelin and at the other end of the spectrum Take That. And in his 66 year the first film authorised by Dylan about his peripatetic life - I'm Not There - was released to mixed reviews.

    And the turkeys? You'll have to wait for the critics on Friday night.

    Do watch our bumper edition - Kirsty.

    Due to copyright restrictions Newsnight Review will not be available online this week.

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