Episode 1 The Arts Show


Episode 1

Marie-Louise Muir presents this new monthly series celebrating the best of arts and culture in Northern Ireland. Film director Terry George discusses his recent Oscar win.


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Transcript


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This programme contains some strong language.

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Hello.

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You're very welcome to the first in a brand new series

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celebrating arts and culture here in Northern Ireland.

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There's never been a better time for the arts here, with more venues,

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festivals and events than ever before.

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The Arts Show will be here to reflect and report once a month,

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so do try and join us. Here's what's coming up tonight.

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International film director and writer, Terry George,

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whose work includes In The Name Of The Father and Hotel Rwanda,

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reflects on his life, work and recent Academy Award.

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German artist Hans Peter Kuhn talks about his installation, Flags,

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at Port Noffer on the North Antrim Coast.

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And we have an acapella performance from Sunderland's The Futureheads.

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But first, Culture Night is a mass celebration

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of artistic adventure and exuberance.

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The concept originated in mainland Europe

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with Ireland first getting involved in 2006.

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This year, there were a record 34 towns taking part north and south.

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We sent our reporter Rigsy along to experience Culture Night Belfast.

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Now in its fourth year and, for the first time,

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expanding from the Cathedral Quarter

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to incorporate the city centre and beyond,

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Culture Night is back

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with its biggest, its best and its most varied line-up to date.

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But for the uninitiated, let's find out what tonight is all about.

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I'm Adam Turkington, and I'm Culture Night programme manager.

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Culture Night is immersive. That's the point.

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When you come down, you don't just watch - you're taking part.

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There is no cost for attending any of the events.

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It's the one rule that we have.

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If you come down and get involved with it,

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it will be a night like no other,

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and the whole city becomes a stage.

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It's a bit pretentious, but it all becomes one big art project,

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and you're a part of it, and that's what makes it exciting.

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220 events, way too many for us to even try to give you more than

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a mild insight into Culture Night, but we will do our best.

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It all starts here, in Culture Night's spiritual home,

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the Cathedral Quarter.

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Inspired by a nine-year-old from Los Angeles, this cardboard arcade

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was providing challenging entertainment for people of all ages.

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CHEERING

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You just follow crowds to random things that nine times out of ten,

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you don't really understand, but you almost certainly will enjoy it!

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MUSIC: My Dixie Darlin'

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# My Dixie darling'

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# Listen to this song I sing

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# Beneath the silver moon... #

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How do you gents find performing in a caravan,

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not being able to see the audience?

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The audience don't want to see us!

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Would you like to do one with us?

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OK.

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THEY PLAY OLD MCDONALD'S FARM

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Dia de los muertos!

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Another thing that I really like about Culture Night,

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it's not just about the bars and the clubs and the usual venues,

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it's about performances that take place...in a barber shop.

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So we had to make do with watching the performance of Sweeney Todd

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from outside Tivoli's Barber Shop.

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Is it intimidating being so close to everybody?

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Well, I was going to come in for a shave myself until I realised

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what I was actually here for when I saw the piano in the background!

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You turned up for a haircut?! He was obliged to sing!

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That's Culture Night, folks!

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Welcome to the stage Mr Archie Holloway, ladies and gentlemen!

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Go on, give us a kiss! Give us a kiss!

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DRUMS PLAY

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The FirePoise fire show has been one of the most popular events

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over the past few years.

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It's an incredible visual display of skill and discipline that has

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brought this crowd together as we go towards an exciting finale.

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What I love about this night, every single year,

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you always feel like you're just a tiny bit away

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from being properly involved,

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maybe a little bit too involved!

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About 30 seconds from now, I'll probably be in that parade!

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No bad thing.

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It's been absolutely brilliant this year,

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so much busier and so much more variety,

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and it ends as Culture Night 2012 goes up in flames.

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Culture Night brings many people together for one heady night

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but, of course, there's plenty of great stuff

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happening in Northern Ireland

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for the other 364 days of the year.

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Now, it was recently my pleasure to meet film director and writer,

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Terry George, who made the headlines in February

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when he and his daughter Oorlagh

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won an Oscar for their short film, The Shore.

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Previous Academy nominations for Terry include Hotel Rwanda

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and In The Name Of The Father.

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Other film credits are The Boxer, Some Mother's Son

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and Whole Lotta Sole.

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Terry divides his time between New York and Killough, County Down,

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where he shot the film

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that finally put that golden statuette in his hand.

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Jim?

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Jim!

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Oh, shit!

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It was an amazing night.

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We made this short film a couple of years ago about...based on peace

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and reconciliation, and little did we know, here we'd be tonight.

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Were you surprised to get that and hear your name called out?

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Yeah. I mean, I guess you're always surprised.

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I'm a bit of a cynic and a pessimist,

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so...and having been there twice before,

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I didn't let my expectations go up.

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But it was wonderful. It was delightful.

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It is the film that I feel is probably the most personal to you.

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This was shot literally outside your front door.

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It was, yeah.

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I've grown up all my life there, and so for me to go back there

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and give it something was both important and joyous.

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Let's talk about one of the scenes

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which still makes me laugh out loud every time I see this film.

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On the beach.

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Hey!

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Run!

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I don't think I'll ever make a Western,

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so this was my...this was my go at a Western, where I have a horse chase!

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-It was hard to shoot.

-Why was it hard to shoot?

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Well, the tide's coming in, you know, it's money, we're all on a Polaris,

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which is a four-wheel truck there trying to keep up with the horse.

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-Trying to keep up with Conleth Hill as Paddy as well.

-And Conleth.

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And Conleth isn't the fittest of people, he'd agree himself,

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so after three or four takes, Conleth was pretty much bollocksed, you know?

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I give up! I give up!

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I surrender! I surrender.

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The recognition that the Oscar gave you, how did that feel?

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The greeting and the support of everyone

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and particularly, you know, the politicians,

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the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister

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and the reception at Stormont,

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which, for me, obviously, was a considerable culture shock.

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All of that, and the warmth of the people themselves,

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and how they shared in the notion

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that we told a story about Northern Ireland

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that was joyous and fun and captured some of the humour

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so that was a quite unique experience, yeah.

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Born in Belfast, Terry was in his late teens when the Troubles began.

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In 1975, he was arrested as a member of an IRSP group

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and sent to jail.

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Do you regret getting caught up in it? Because you were...

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Do I regret getting caught? Yes!

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No! No, I don't. It was...

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I can't call regret this or that.

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That's your life and that's what it is

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and the dice fell that way.

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Many of the people I knew are dead now.

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I'm lucky to be here, you know,

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even more likely to be in this situation

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where I'm talking about my life as a film director.

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In 1978, Terry was released from jail

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and three years later went to New York to work as a journalist.

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He also began to write for the theatre.

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His big break as a writer came in 1993

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when Jim Sheridan asked him to collaborate on the screenplay

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for In The Name Of The Father.

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It told the story of Gerry Conlon

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who, along with his father Giuseppe, was wrongly convicted

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for taking part in the IRA bombing campaign in England.

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CHEERING

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I took Gerry Conlon on this very memorable drive

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from New York to Key West,

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which is, I think, 1,200 miles, takes you two days

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and the reason for that was that

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I couldn't stop Gerry partying in New York,

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so it was a sort of moving jail cell for him.

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And the tape recordings of that trip

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became the script of In The Name Of The Father.

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There's a scene where

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Gerry Conlon and his father are in a cell together.

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Keep away from me! You've followed me all your fucking life

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-and now here you are in jail. You doing this deliberately?

-No.

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-You doing it deliberately?

-Stop it.

-You doing it...?

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You wanted to put that father-son relationship at its core.

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-It became less a "Troubles" film...

-Yeah.

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..and more that interpersonal, interfamilial relationship.

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That seems to be really important to you

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and it's a line that goes throughout your films.

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'The political story, the injustice story was important

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'but at the same time, the father-son story,'

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that evolution,

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the bad boy becoming the good man, was equally important.

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In the Name of the Father earned Terry his first Oscar nomination.

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In 2004, he got his second

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when he co-wrote the screenplay for Hotel Rwanda,

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a film he also directed.

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It told the story of Paul Rusesabagina

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and his struggle to save his family in the Rwandan genocide.

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'When I got together with Paul, we went to Rwanda'

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and it was particularly there that I saw just how similar it was

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to Northern Ireland in many ways.

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Is it the tribes, the tribal...?

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The division between Hutu and Tutsi for sure,

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the manipulation by extreme politicians on both sides.

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The divide, the fear of losing land

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or losing stuff to the other side.

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Don Cheadle is incredible as Paul in the film.

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There's one scene

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where he is trying to find his family, it's towards the end.

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SOLDIERS SHOUT

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Stay where you are! Stay down!

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GUNFIRE

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SCREAMING

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The look on his face is so harrowing,

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the pain that he thinks that his family are dead

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and then he finds them.

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How did Don Cheadle get all of that into his face?

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Well, he's one of the best actors in the world

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and in that case, you know,

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that was the climax of the drama of the family.

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THEY SCREAM

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They've gone! They've gone.

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'I've been blessed with the best actors in the world,

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'I've worked with, so particularly with Don and Sophie in that film,

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'they carried it and the audience loved them

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'and wanted them to succeed and wanted them to find the children.

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'Again, it's a family story.'

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Is it important for you to have that personal at the core of a film

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which has a huge political ramification to it as well?

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That's what I look for first.

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I'm not capable of doing totally political films.

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I want to look for that person within the film who tells...

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who becomes the audience or explains to the audience what's going on,

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whether it's Paul Rusesabagina or Giuseppe Conlon,

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that's what I look for

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because then, you're able to combine drama...

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..and entertainment with a message that you hope resonates with people.

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Is that what you want to do as a filmmaker?

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Yeah, when possible. I mean, you've got to switch off from it, you know?

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You can't be that crusader all the time

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and I want to kind of stretch in terms of what I'm capable of,

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which is why The Shore and Whole Lotta Sole came about.

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SHRIEKING

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Get him!

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Are you trying to get in touch with your funny side?

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Well, yeah, I think people got laughs out of it.

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The most satisfying thing for a director, filmmaker,

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producer, even actor, is to sit at the back of a theatre or cinema

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and hear the audience laugh.

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-You pick him up. Yes, you.

-BABY CRIES

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-You're going to learn a thing or two about children. Pick him up!

-OK!

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BABY FARTS

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Oh, Jesus!

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'I remember when I was going to the Oscars with my mum,

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she was in the limousine

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and she said, "This is all great,

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"but are you ever going to get yourself a real job?"

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And in a way, that's the Northern Ireland mentality, you know,

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so yeah, so maybe I'll get there.

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German artist, Hans Peter Kuhn,

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is known for his large-scale installations in public places,

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usually working with electric light and amplified music.

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But when he was invited as part of the Cultural Olympiad

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to County Antrim's Causeway Coast, he took a very different approach.

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Natasha Sayee met him to discuss his latest work, Flags.

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SHIPPING FORECAST PLAYS 'Showers good, occasionally moderate.

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'Malin, Hebrides, Bailey - variable, three or four,

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'showers good. Fairisle, Faeroes, north-east...'

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This is a very dramatic and very beautiful landscape.

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I mean, you have these rocks from... These basalt pillars,

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but then you have these green areas

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that suddenly fall down and make this big base.

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It is tremendous and unexplainable!

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So what was it that drew you to this unexplainable place?

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I was asked to do something here at the Giant's Causeway

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so I came here and I saw it and I nearly said,

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"This is impossible, I cannot do anything on a place like this.

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"This is too big. It doesn't make sense to add something to it."

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But then I went out there on the Giant's Causeway

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and turned around and I saw Port Noffer, the big bay there.

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Over several weeks in August,

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Hans Peter Kuhn and his team created flags,

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putting 140 steel poles into the ground.

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Each one has a plastic flag which swivels

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to show either a red or yellow side,

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depending on which way the wind's blowing.

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When people come down here for the first time,

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how would you like them to view your installation?

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Well, I mean, the good thing is, there is the Giant's Causeway,

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which blocks the view, so when you come down here, you don't see it.

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This is something I like very much. Then, suddenly,

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you get this image of the colour spots in the landscape.

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Mostly, I work with sound and light.

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When I came here, it made no sense to do anything with electricity

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because this is a natural place. It should stay natural.

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So then I thought, "What can I use as a force?"

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And of course, wind is there and it's free.

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Flags came up very naturally just from the situation.

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Tell us about the red and yellow

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because there's a vista of red and yellow.

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It's actually very simple. It's a very formal reason.

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I wanted a stark contrast between the two sides,

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so I looked for colours

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that are nicely opposite.

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Red and yellow would be the colours that would be used most

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by the advertising industry.

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In the end, it is that same reason. I want people to see it

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and that's what advertising people want, of course, too.

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They also give you these colours because they want you to look.

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I think what it does is making people really aware of nature.

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Nature is unpredictable. You look around, you see,

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they all move and each moves in a different way.

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Now you see the trees moving or the leaves moving

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but you never see the wind itself. It is invisible.

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That's the great thing about this. It helps you appreciate

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how the wind is moving around the causeway.

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'People come from all over the world

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'to experience this extraordinary landscape

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'and to hear how it was forged by natural forces, including the wind.'

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'After millions of years of weathering, wind and rain

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'changing the stone's chemical structure,

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'the laterite was broken down, an ongoing process

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'that affects the entire landscape of the Giants Causeway.'

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When you've seen the Flags installation,

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you can really appreciate just how much this landscape

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is being shaped by the sea and the wind.

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But the extraordinary basalt columns here at the Giants Causeway,

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well, they defied explanation for centuries.

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'Were they formed eons ago when sedimentary mud solidified,

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'or when molten lava met cold seawater?

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'Or were they formed much more recently, when God created the world?

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'This view is included in a display at the visitors centre.'

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'Young Earth Creationists believe that the Earth was created

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'some 6,000 years ago.

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'This is based on a specific interpretation of the Bible,

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'and in particular, the account of Creation in the book of Genesis.'

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This might seem like anti-scientific heresy to some,

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but the views of these Young Earth creationists

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are included here at the visitors centre.

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That's only a small part of the exhibition,

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but it has sparked a fierce debate.

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When you look at this really spectacular coastline,

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do you feel the need to ask why it was created or who created it?

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No, I don't. This is, honestly, I don't mind,

0:21:410:21:44

I don't care if it's created by God, if you want to call it that

0:21:440:21:48

or if it's a Big Bang. It doesn't make any difference. It's the same.

0:21:480:21:52

The main issue is that it's there and that we appreciate it,

0:21:520:21:55

but how it came to happen, we can never tell.

0:21:550:21:58

But do you feel it's somewhere that should be celebrated?

0:21:580:22:01

You can celebrate nature by just being there and appreciating it.

0:22:010:22:06

When you look at this, this is so beautiful, and here you can see

0:22:060:22:09

this is all formed by nature,

0:22:090:22:11

and the wind has also a big part in it.

0:22:110:22:15

Erosion is water and wind, usually.

0:22:150:22:16

OK, this is artificial, what I'm doing, but it follows nature.

0:22:160:22:21

If you take the time to look a little bit

0:22:210:22:23

then you realise what nature is doing.

0:22:230:22:26

And Flags runs until the 4th of November.

0:22:290:22:33

I'm joined now by Ralph McLean, with his cultural recommendations

0:22:330:22:36

for the coming weeks. What have you got for us?

0:22:360:22:38

First up, Marie-Louise,

0:22:380:22:39

we've got Derry-based Echo Echo dance theatre company

0:22:390:22:42

and their new touring production, The Cove.

0:22:420:22:45

This is based on the production team's experiences

0:22:450:22:48

in a cove in Inishowen in Donegal.

0:22:480:22:50

It's very authentic, in-your-face. Highly recommended. I should say,

0:22:500:22:53

you won't need wellies and your windcheater.

0:22:530:22:55

You're not going to be exposed to the elements indoors, it's in the round.

0:22:550:22:59

And the set design comes from Dan Shipsides, who is an artist

0:22:590:23:02

as well as being a climber, so authentic is the word here.

0:23:020:23:06

It starts its tour in Letterkenny on the 3rd of October,

0:23:060:23:08

plays at various places throughout Northern Ireland

0:23:080:23:10

and finishes in the Millennium Forum

0:23:100:23:12

on the 17th. Climb on board would be my advice.

0:23:120:23:14

Sounds great. What have you got for us next?

0:23:140:23:16

Well, Flive, or Fermanagh Live, is a festival

0:23:160:23:18

that's been running for four years,

0:23:180:23:20

bringing all kinds of cultural events to that beautiful part of the world.

0:23:200:23:24

This year, it's very eclectic as always.

0:23:240:23:26

Musically speaking, they've got the wonderful Juliet Turner.

0:23:260:23:29

Trad stalwarts Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny are going to be there as well.

0:23:290:23:32

All sorts of other great stuff as well,

0:23:320:23:34

Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre Company will be there, Ardal O'Hanlon,

0:23:340:23:37

king of stand-up that he is, and loads more besides

0:23:370:23:40

including a zombie film, so from Father Ted to the Living Dead.

0:23:400:23:43

See what I did there? Very clever.

0:23:430:23:45

It's a three-day festival, from October 4th.

0:23:450:23:47

Check out their website for information.

0:23:470:23:49

Sounds great. Where are you going to take us to next?

0:23:490:23:52

Well, I think with the nights drawing in we could all do with a laugh.

0:23:520:23:55

So a bit of stand-up comedy.

0:23:550:23:56

If you're not familiar with the Irish-American comedian Des Bishop,

0:23:560:24:00

I have one thing to say to you. Where have you been?

0:24:000:24:02

He's had various series' on RTE.

0:24:020:24:04

Probably the best of them is In The Name of the Fada

0:24:040:24:06

in which he had to learn Gaelic to perform his show in that language.

0:24:060:24:09

An amazing guy, very observational,

0:24:090:24:10

and he's playing a couple of dates in Northern Ireland,

0:24:100:24:13

Millennium Forum in Derry on the 13th

0:24:130:24:15

and then up to Belfast and the Ulster Hall on the 20th.

0:24:150:24:17

I wonder if he'll do his jokes in dual language.

0:24:170:24:19

We'll have to wait and see. And finally, what have you got for us?

0:24:190:24:22

-Quickfire cultural recommendations.

-A couple of quick recommendations

0:24:220:24:25

would be I Am My Own Wife, an incredible

0:24:250:24:28

Pulitzer Award-winning performance, running at the MAC until the 6th.

0:24:280:24:31

It is 36 characters, the story of one woman and it's told by one man,

0:24:310:24:35

so very intriguing as well. Check it out and you'll see

0:24:350:24:38

why it's so award winning. It's at the MAC until the 6th.

0:24:380:24:41

Now, we know that kids love

0:24:410:24:42

to get stuck into art and get messy and muddy with it.

0:24:420:24:45

They can do that at the Sticky Fingers Arts Festival,

0:24:450:24:48

which runs in Newry throughout the month of October.

0:24:480:24:50

Check out their website for more information.

0:24:500:24:52

And the Stirling Prize, a very prestigious award for architecture,

0:24:520:24:57

that's announced this month as well.

0:24:570:24:58

And you've seen the Lyric and anybody who's seen the renovated Lyric

0:24:580:25:02

will know how beautiful it is.

0:25:020:25:03

It's nominated for the Stirling Prize this year. Fingers crossed.

0:25:030:25:06

-That'll be announced on the 13th.

-Ralph, thank you very much.

0:25:060:25:10

And that's it. We're back next month with the first of two specials

0:25:100:25:14

from the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queens.

0:25:140:25:17

You can keep up to date with BBC Radio Ulster's Arts Extra programme,

0:25:170:25:21

weeknights at 6:30pm.

0:25:210:25:23

We leave you tonight though with an exclusive a cappella performance.

0:25:230:25:27

This is the Futureheads.

0:25:270:25:29

One, two. A-one, two...

0:25:290:25:31

-# I came to town

-Nineteen

0:25:310:25:33

# And they called it the summer

0:25:330:25:35

-# I came to town

-Nineteen

0:25:350:25:38

# And they called it the summer

0:25:380:25:40

# I was 19 when I came to town

0:25:400:25:42

# And they called it the summer of love

0:25:420:25:44

# There were burning babies burning flags

0:25:440:25:46

# There were hawks against the doves

0:25:460:25:48

# I took a job in a steamie down on Cauldrum Street

0:25:480:25:52

# Fell in love with a laundry girl who was working next to me

0:25:520:25:56

# Oh, she was a rare thing

0:25:560:25:59

# Fine as a bee's wing

0:25:590:26:01

# So fine a breath of wind might blow her away

0:26:010:26:04

# She was a lost child

0:26:050:26:07

# Oh, she was a-running wild

0:26:070:26:09

# She says, "As long as there's no price on love

0:26:090:26:12

# "As long as there's no price on love

0:26:120:26:14

# "As long as there's no price on love I'll stay-ay-ay

0:26:140:26:18

# I wouldn't want it any other way-ay-ay-ay

0:26:180:26:22

-# I came to town

-Nineteen

0:26:220:26:25

# And they called it the summer

0:26:250:26:27

-# I came to town

-Nineteen

0:26:270:26:29

# And they called it the summer

0:26:290:26:32

# Brown hair zig-zag around her face And a look of half surprise

0:26:320:26:35

# Like a fox caught in the headlights There was animal in her eyes

0:26:350:26:40

# She said, "Oh, boy, can't you see?

0:26:400:26:42

# "I'm not the factory kind

0:26:420:26:45

# "If you don't take me out of here I'll surely lose my mind"

0:26:450:26:48

# Oh, she was a rare thing

0:26:480:26:50

# Fine as a bee's wing

0:26:500:26:53

# So fine a breath of wind might blow her away

0:26:530:26:56

# Blow her away

0:26:560:26:58

# She was a lost child

0:26:580:27:00

# Oh, she was a-running wild

0:27:000:27:02

# She says, "As long as there's no price on love

0:27:020:27:04

# "As long as there's no price on love

0:27:040:27:06

# "As long as there's no price on love I'll stay-ay-ay-ay

0:27:060:27:11

# And I wouldn't want it any other way-ay-ay-ay

0:27:110:27:15

# Boom ba-doom, ba-doom

0:27:150:27:17

# Boom ba-doom, ba-doom

0:27:170:27:20

# Boom ba-doom, ba-doom

0:27:200:27:22

# Boom ba-doom, ba-doom

0:27:220:27:24

# We was camping down the Gower one time

0:27:240:27:26

# And the work was pretty good

0:27:260:27:28

# She thought we shouldn't wait for the frost

0:27:280:27:31

# And I thought maybe we should

0:27:310:27:32

# We were drinking more in those days

0:27:320:27:35

# And the tempers reached a pitch

0:27:350:27:38

# Like a fool, I let her run With a rambling itch

0:27:380:27:41

# Well, the last I heard she was sleeping rough

0:27:410:27:43

# Down on the Derby beat

0:27:430:27:46

# White Horse in her hip pocket And a wolfhound at her feet

0:27:460:27:50

# They say she even married once

0:27:500:27:52

# A man named Romany Brown

0:27:520:27:54

# But even a gypsy caravan Was too much settling down

0:27:540:27:58

# They say her flower's faded now

0:27:580:28:01

# Hard weather and hard booze

0:28:010:28:03

# Well, maybe that's the price you pay

0:28:030:28:05

# For the chains that you refuse

0:28:050:28:07

# Oh, she was a rare thing

0:28:070:28:09

# Fine as a bee's wing

0:28:090:28:12

# So fine a breath of wind might blow her away

0:28:120:28:15

# She was a lost child

0:28:150:28:17

# Oh, she was a-running wild

0:28:170:28:20

# She says, "As long as there's no price on love

0:28:200:28:22

# "As long as there's no price on love

0:28:220:28:25

# As long as there's no price on love I'll stay-ay-ay-ay

0:28:250:28:29

# And I wouldn't want it any other way-ay-ay-ay

0:28:290:28:33

# Ay-ay-ay-ay

0:28:330:28:36

# Ay-y-y-y. #

0:28:360:28:39

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:28:410:28:45

Marie-Louise Muir presents this new monthly series celebrating the best of arts and culture in Northern Ireland.

Film director Terry George discusses his recent Oscar win for The Shore, we profile Hans Peter Kuhn's Flags installation, explore the 4th annual Culture Night in Belfast, and there is an a cappella performance from The Futureheads.


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