Episode 9 The Arts Show


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Episode 9

Phill Jupitus, Bob Geldof, film director and writer Neil Jordan and illustrator Peter Strain are just some of the names on this month's Arts Show, presented by Marie-Louise Muir.


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Transcript


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Hello and welcome.

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All the cultural craic we can fit into half an hour,

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and this is what's coming up

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in the next 30 minutes.

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Do not touch that zapper.

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Coming up, comic and cartoonist

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Phill Jupitus channels

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his inner Michelangelo.

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Irish director Neil Jordan

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on Cruise, Pitt, Rea

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and why nobody believes he is also a writer.

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Not a wig or a fake tan in sight -

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the former Riverdancer taking Irish dance a step further.

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And a design for life -

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cutting and splicing pop culture

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and politics onto the one page.

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But first, the art that blew the mind

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of the one and only Sir Bob Geldof.

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CHEERING

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The first music that electrified me

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was the Rolling Stones.

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I saw the Beatles and the Stones and Dylan

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in the same year, in the Adelphi Cinema in Dublin.

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I just wanted to be in that gang, you know? They were a gang.

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And also, their attitude, you know?

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That sort of insolence, I really liked.

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Coming into my teens, I was,

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of course, you know, a sort of...an existentialist,

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of course, as only teens can possibly be.

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But I did like those books.

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I know it sounds wanky, but I'm not trying to be...

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I had them, they were around, so...

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One I remember that vividly was

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A Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich by Solzhenitsyn.

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In fact, I think he pitches up in one of the Rats' songs.

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So...those...

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Yeah, they really, um...

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..made much more of an impact than any other thing except music.

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Films that have really made me think

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are standards like Apocalypse Now.

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In fact, I think the Rats were on tour in Canada.

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We had a night off

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and we were in Edmonton and we saw it,

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I think, the first week it came out,

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and I remember coming out of the cinema

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and all of us were silent

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and a row started amongst us and, like, it was almost a punch-up.

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There was that much tension,

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coming out of the...out of that film.

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You know, like everybody else, so many great films,

1:16:591:17:01

so many books, so many songs, you know?

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It's hard to pick.

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Luckily, I had three priests

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in a row in school

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who could actually read poetry,

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properly read poetry, as opposed to...

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-MONOTONE:

-"I wandered lonely as a cloud...

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They read it and it seemed to make...huge sense to me,

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in the same way that rock and roll did.

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And so when one of the priests,

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we had to do Paradise Lost, Milton's Paradise Lost,

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and he read it, and it just blew me away,

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cos it's kind of difficult English, but beautiful.

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When he explained that, you know, Satan was equal to God

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and he challenged him and God said,

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"I don't think so, dude, kneel down."

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"Kneel down? I don't think so!"

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So here, you've got this kid, me, our era of this music,

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just saying, "Authority? I don't think so."

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And the Boomtown Rats play the Mandela Hall on March 24th.

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Well, he may not like Mondays,

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but he certainly never minded the Buzzcocks.

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Phill Jupitus is an actor and comedian,

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but he is also a cartoonist.

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Welcome to the Ulster Museum.

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-Hello.

-With a passion for drawing.

1:18:161:18:19

Yeah. I mean, picked the right exhibition as well, haven't we?

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Rather than finished work, we're here with Lines Of Thought.

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Which is who... I mean, this is basically...

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We need to stress how unique this exhibition is.

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Ulster Museum is only one of three venues

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that this British Museum touring exhibition is coming to.

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It's finished here - saved the best till last.

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Two hot months, kids. Get down here, fast.

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And who's here?

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Who's here?

1:18:431:18:45

Me.

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-Oh, no, you mean the drawings?

-The drawings, yeah.

-Sorry.

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We've got Rembrandt over there. We've got some Leonardo da Vinci.

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We've got some Michelangelo.

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There is a David Hockney, Barbara Hepworth...

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Can I get a "Barbara Hepworth" in the house?

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This is the most impressive single room of art

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I think I've ever been in in my life, and I, madam, am 54.

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I've seen a lot of rooms full of art -

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some great ones, some brilliant ones -

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and this is the best.

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The great myth about art is that it's some...

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It's like magic, it's some sort of ability, and they just...

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-HE BLOWS RASPBERRY

-And it's on the page and it's done,

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but it's not. There's a lot of...

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A lot of "agh" goes into creating art.

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A lot of thought and torture.

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What you're seeing on the wall is ideas, sort of, in motion,

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as it were.

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You are sketching as well.

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-Yeah.

-But on an iPad.

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What are you seeing, then? What are you taking in?

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What you're doing is you're engaging with a piece of work

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for an extended period of time, and so you're seeing brushstrokes,

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you're seeing detail, you're seeing composition,

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but you're...you're then replicating them,

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and so in the replication,

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I think there's an extra layer of...

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..of information, if not comprehension.

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I think you are certainly seeing more and you're seeing deeper.

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It was brilliant when I arrived today, and this was, sort of,

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the opening day of the exhibition.

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There were about eight people drawing the stuff that

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was on the wall, which was very gratifying to see,

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that that's the way people react to this stuff,

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to copy what other artists were doing.

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But you're not formally trained as an artist.

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You didn't go to art school or any of this.

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-No.

-Suddenly...

-None of it.

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But you can see your passion.

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The thing is when I'm doing it in galleries,

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'and people are welcome to come and chat to me when I do it,

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'I do it at the Edinburgh Festival every year

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'and I started doing it there for two reasons -

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'first, because...what a brilliant way to start your day,

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'to spend two hours with a beautiful piece of art,

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'just drawing, you know?

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'It's a very restful, kind of, zen start to your day.'

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And the other reason was it stopped me going out drinking at night.

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If I knew I had to be up at eight o'clock and in a gallery by nine,

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you can't go out on the lash.

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So that was my...

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It's more of a self-control system that benefits me cerebrally.

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Can you choose a favourite out of all that are on the walls here?

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What happened yesterday, when I first came,

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was I kind of did this, sort of, weird crab walk,

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where I was going sideways, so I wasn't polluting myself

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by seeing what was coming,

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so I was going sideways around, and I kept going...

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When you're going from, like,

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a Bridget Riley to a Michelangelo, you just...

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-HE GASPS

-You can't believe...

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You know, and it's over by the Seurat,

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the David Hockneys by the Seurat,

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-It's that...

-HE GASPS

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That kept happening. But a favourite here,

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there is Leonardo's drawing of Christ with a cat.

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There is a frame of him holding the cat, the cat is quite playful,

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but then there is one above it of Jesus holding a cat,

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and the cat is trying...

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But it's a still drawing, but this cat is all over the shop.

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-You can feel that.

-Yeah, yeah. It's just, it's just...

1:22:001:22:05

That Leonardo cartoon, I never laughed at that,

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but that cat drawing, that's funny.

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That's how far ahead of his time he was.

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He knew that that's what people would look at on YouTube.

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He just does cat drawings. That's... What he does is...

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If you really want stuff to take off,

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that was it - pop a cat in it.

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I mean, people now are Photoshopping

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cats into the Last Supper.

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THEY LAUGH

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Phill Jupitus, it has been a pleasure.

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-Thank you.

-Yes, thank you.

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And if Phill's sketches have got you creatively curious,

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and you fancy getting busy with a brush yourself,

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don't be shy - you too can get creative

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on Saturday, April 8th,

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from stitching in Strabane

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to painting pots in Portstewart,

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there are events happening

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right across Northern Ireland,

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with the main events happening

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in the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry/Londonderry

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and right here in the Ulster Museum.

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Our next guest is probably best known

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as one of Ireland's foremost movie directors,

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the man behind titles such as Interview With The Vampire,

1:23:091:23:12

The Crying Game, Michael Collins,

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The Company Of Wolves and Mona Lisa.

1:23:151:23:17

Neil Jordan, however, has also enjoyed

1:23:171:23:19

a long and successful career as a writer,

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predating his directing days,

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with titles including The Drowned Detective,

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Mistaken and Night In Tunisia.

1:23:271:23:29

His latest novel Carnivalesque,

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a dark coming-of-age tale set in a supernatural circus,

1:23:311:23:35

is out now.

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-Neil Jordan, you are very welcome to The Arts Show.

-Thank you.

1:23:361:23:39

Carnivalesque - where did that idea come from?

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For a long time, I'd been thinking about making a movie about

1:23:421:23:44

a carnival or a circus

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that had supernatural abilities, you know?

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So they actually had to hide their physical, kind of, talents.

1:23:521:23:56

They had to hide the fact that

1:23:561:23:57

they didn't have to obey physical laws, you know?

1:23:571:24:00

I was wondering, were these people from space or where were they from?

1:24:001:24:03

Were they from another planet? You know, that kind of thing.

1:24:031:24:06

So I just began to write the story.

1:24:061:24:08

I've always wanted to write a piece of total fantasy, you know,

1:24:081:24:11

set in...you know, in an Irish context,

1:24:111:24:15

and in the context of the spooky stories

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my father used to tell me.

1:24:201:24:21

But that idea of the pookas and the banshees and...

1:24:211:24:24

Yeah, the idea of actually a race of people that took advantage

1:24:241:24:29

of all these bloody legends, know what I mean?

1:24:291:24:31

The more I explored it, the more, you know...

1:24:311:24:33

The more complicated and more interesting it became, really.

1:24:331:24:35

So why is...

1:24:351:24:36

Because you've almost got, like, a dual life, you know?

1:24:361:24:40

You're Neil Jordan, the fiction writer.

1:24:401:24:42

-Mm.

-And you're also Neil Jordan, the screenwriter and director.

1:24:421:24:46

-Mm.

-Do you see them as a dual identity? Or...?

1:24:461:24:49

No, they're both... I mean, I don't know how...

1:24:491:24:53

If you do the kind of thing I do, it's silly not to do something else.

1:24:531:24:57

It's just...

1:24:571:24:58

A lot of film directors work in the theatre, you know?

1:24:581:25:01

And a lot of film directors like Martin Scorsese

1:25:011:25:03

work...does magnificent documentary work and stuff like that.

1:25:031:25:07

It just happens that I come from Ireland

1:25:071:25:09

and come from a literary tradition and background,

1:25:091:25:12

and that's what I started doing, you know?

1:25:121:25:13

So, do you see a difference in the two roles?

1:25:131:25:15

-Or do you see yourself as...?

-As a film-maker and a novelist.

1:25:151:25:18

A film-maker and a novelist.

1:25:181:25:19

Or are you a storyteller, first and foremost?

1:25:191:25:21

I don't really. But it's just because...

1:25:211:25:24

I never thought I would get to make films, you know what I mean?

1:25:241:25:27

Well, if you think back to the '70s, I mean,

1:25:271:25:29

Irish people didn't make movies, you know? They just didn't.

1:25:291:25:32

There was no Irish cinema,

1:25:321:25:33

and it was only when I started to write movies

1:25:331:25:35

and when I met John Boorman, actually,

1:25:351:25:38

and began to work with him on Excalibur

1:25:381:25:41

and another script or two that we wrote together,

1:25:411:25:44

that I began to see that it's possible

1:25:441:25:46

for someone like me to perhaps do this kind of thing.

1:25:461:25:49

Jordan began his directing career on the self-penned Angel in 1982 -

1:25:511:25:55

a story about a musician played by a young Stephen Rea

1:25:551:25:59

who witnesses a murder and tracks down the killers.

1:25:591:26:02

Come on, come on!

1:26:021:26:03

So, Angel comes along then, and you've written it and...

1:26:031:26:06

Well, I wrote Angel, yeah.

1:26:061:26:07

A wrote the script for Angel and, for some reason,

1:26:071:26:11

they let me direct that movie.

1:26:111:26:13

It was kind of a terrifying experience,

1:26:131:26:15

but I had a great cameraman, Chris Menges, and...

1:26:151:26:18

I hadn't got a clue about how cameras worked

1:26:191:26:22

or anything like that, you know what I mean?

1:26:221:26:24

But I had a very clear vision in my mind

1:26:241:26:26

about what I wanted to see.

1:26:261:26:28

I just wanted to present this series of murders and killings

1:26:281:26:32

and the attraction of...the horrible attraction of that kind of thing

1:26:321:26:37

in the barest...

1:26:371:26:38

Without any explanations whatsoever, you know?

1:26:381:26:40

So I made this rather strange and spare movie

1:26:401:26:44

and people liked it, you know?

1:26:441:26:45

And it got quite a bit of acclaim.

1:26:451:26:48

Was that the first time you'd worked with Stephen Rea?

1:26:481:26:51

Yeah, it was, yeah.

1:26:511:26:52

I'd seen Stephen in the Abbey, in a play that was actually

1:26:521:26:57

directed by Jim Sheridan,

1:26:571:26:58

called The Blue Macushla written by Tom Murphy.

1:26:581:27:00

And he was really cool and I thought, "This guy is good."

1:27:001:27:03

So when I did Angel, I asked him to act in it, and, you know,

1:27:031:27:07

we developed a relationship after that.

1:27:071:27:10

This relationship would continue

1:27:101:27:11

with one of Jordan's biggest international successes,

1:27:111:27:14

The Crying Game, for which he won

1:27:141:27:16

the Oscar for Best Screenplay in 1992.

1:27:161:27:20

It's recently celebrated its 25th year.

1:27:201:27:24

Does that surprise you, that it still stands the test of time?

1:27:241:27:28

I rarely watch the films that I do,

1:27:281:27:30

but BFI brought out a beautifully restored version of it, actually.

1:27:301:27:34

I watched it in the BFI and it was cool, really good.

1:27:341:27:39

It's stood the test of time, except there is far more awareness,

1:27:391:27:44

now, of gender issues and...

1:27:441:27:47

Transgender, yeah.

1:27:471:27:48

The success of The Crying Game led to Jordan being offered

1:27:481:27:52

one of the biggest directing gigs in Hollywood at the time -

1:27:521:27:55

the movie adaptation of Anne Rice's novel

1:27:551:27:58

Interview With The Vampire, starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise.

1:27:581:28:02

Were you making it for a market?

1:28:021:28:04

I mean, did you suddenly find yourself...?

1:28:041:28:06

I was making it for my friends.

1:28:061:28:07

I said, "I'll make it if you allow me to make it

1:28:071:28:10

"as an independent movie."

1:28:101:28:11

And they said yes, you know? So I said, "OK, I'll do that".

1:28:111:28:15

You know... So, it was a big, huge thing.

1:28:151:28:18

What, 70 million movie?

1:28:181:28:20

But there was no interference whatsoever, you know?

1:28:201:28:23

It was extraordinary.

1:28:231:28:24

Particularly with the stars that they're giving you.

1:28:241:28:26

I mean, they are handing you Tom Cruise...

1:28:261:28:28

Or are they handing you Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt?

1:28:281:28:30

Or are you still having to say,

1:28:301:28:32

"Look, I want them to audition for these roles"?

1:28:321:28:34

Oh, no. Oh, you don't ask Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt to audition for roles.

1:28:341:28:38

No, you don't.

1:28:381:28:39

Maybe if you're Stanley Kubrick, you do, or you did.

1:28:391:28:42

But no, no, no.

1:28:421:28:43

No, Tom expressed interest in the role.

1:28:431:28:45

I went out to meet him.

1:28:451:28:46

I mean, Brad was attached.

1:28:461:28:49

At the time, they wanted Daniel Day Lewis

1:28:491:28:52

to play Tom Cruise's role.

1:28:521:28:53

And I said, "Look, there is no way Mr Lewis, Daniel,

1:28:531:28:56

"is going to play this role."

1:28:561:28:58

Cos he would never survive six months in a coffin anyway,

1:28:581:29:01

cos that's what he does, you know?

1:29:011:29:03

-Method acting.

-But I went to meet Tom and I thought,

1:29:031:29:05

he's got a really interesting character for this...

1:29:051:29:09

He's got a really interesting quality, you know?

1:29:091:29:11

And the description,

1:29:111:29:12

the kind of character description that Anne Rice had given of Lestat,

1:29:121:29:17

was almost like the description of a star, you know,

1:29:171:29:20

who is at a certain remove from life, and stuff like that.

1:29:201:29:24

I just thought Tom... I've always liked Tom as an actor, you know?

1:29:241:29:28

And I thought he'd be great, you know?

1:29:281:29:31

But I was dealing with Tom and Brad and they were kind of interesting,

1:29:311:29:35

that was interesting, but I was let make the movie I wanted to make.

1:29:351:29:40

The global success of the movie empowered Jordan

1:29:411:29:44

to follow it up with a long-cherished personal project -

1:29:441:29:48

his self-penned biopic of Michael Collins starring Liam Neeson.

1:29:481:29:52

Other major talent he's directed include Robert De Niro and Sean Penn

1:29:521:29:56

and Cillian Murphy.

1:29:561:29:57

He's recently branched into long-form big budget TV drama

1:29:591:30:02

with yet another self-penned project, the Borgias,

1:30:021:30:05

starring Jeremy Irons.

1:30:051:30:06

Does it rankle with you that Neil Jordan the novelist

1:30:081:30:12

-never gets as big a profile...

-No...

-..as Neil Jordan the film director?

1:30:121:30:16

Well, it's just... It's something I don't fully understand. It's...

1:30:161:30:20

You know, people just are surprised that I ever...

1:30:201:30:24

you know, that I ever wrote novels, you know?

1:30:241:30:27

It's just the way things are. Nothing I can do about it, you know?

1:30:271:30:29

-Neil Jordan, it has been a pleasure talking to you.

-OK.

1:30:291:30:32

-Thank you so much.

-Thank you. Thank you very much.

1:30:321:30:35

Whether it be his trademark mashup of images and text,

1:30:371:30:41

political commentary or, here, covering 27 metres of hoarding

1:30:411:30:45

in the Botanic Gardens while restoration work is carried out,

1:30:451:30:48

Belfast-based illustrator Peter Strain

1:30:481:30:51

is making a massive impact in the world of illustration.

1:30:511:30:55

We thought we would catch up with him while we still can.

1:30:551:30:58

Illustration kind of does always fall in between

1:31:021:31:05

the fine art world and the graphic design world.

1:31:051:31:08

Words and images have always been really interesting to me,

1:31:081:31:11

so I try and find a way of merging the two,

1:31:111:31:13

in, you know, hopefully quite an original way.

1:31:131:31:17

# I've been awake for so long now

1:31:181:31:24

# Just can't get to sleep... #

1:31:251:31:28

At its best, illustration does help us,

1:31:281:31:31

kind of, comprehend the world around us.

1:31:311:31:32

You know, it tries to...

1:31:321:31:34

It tries to make sense of...

1:31:341:31:36

You know, a chaos of information, it's trying to make sense of.

1:31:381:31:43

Big fan of Conor O'Brien, and his...

1:31:501:31:53

you know, his band, the Villagers.

1:31:531:31:56

I was lucky enough to be asked to make

1:31:561:31:58

a cover sleeve for the live album,

1:31:581:32:01

which, a lot of that was to do with some homophobic experiences

1:32:011:32:04

Conor had before,

1:32:041:32:07

and I kind of wanted this artwork to sort of reflect that

1:32:071:32:10

in some ways, but kind of in a...

1:32:101:32:12

you know, a little bit, sort of, not really in-your-face.

1:32:121:32:14

So, the idea is, this guy has been chased up to his wits' end,

1:32:141:32:20

and kind of like, a fight or flight kind of thing -

1:32:201:32:23

you know, you either stand up to somebody

1:32:231:32:26

or you give in to the type of thing that they're...

1:32:261:32:29

You know, whatever they're, kind of, accusing you of, or whatever,

1:32:291:32:32

you can either make your stand or fall back,

1:32:321:32:35

so, the kind of idea of this character

1:32:351:32:38

is that he's taken that leap

1:32:381:32:39

and, you know, it's kind of worked out for the best.

1:32:391:32:43

He hasn't, sort of, plummeted, he's soared.

1:32:431:32:46

# Oh, Lord

1:32:461:32:48

# A hot, scary summer... #

1:32:481:32:53

A fine artist doesn't necessarily

1:32:531:32:55

have to communicate a specific message,

1:32:551:32:58

whereas, more often than not, illustration does have to do that.

1:32:581:33:03

It has to, kind of, articulate something -

1:33:031:33:05

it has to communicate something.

1:33:051:33:06

With what's, kind of, happened with Brexit,

1:33:131:33:17

and what's happening with Donald Trump and things in the States,

1:33:171:33:20

you can see a lot of people reacting and using illustration

1:33:201:33:23

as, kind of, a medium to get their ideas and thoughts out there.

1:33:231:33:28

With Shepard Fairey's Hope poster design for Obama,

1:33:291:33:33

that was something that he made independently.

1:33:331:33:36

It wasn't commissioned by any advisers or anything like that.

1:33:361:33:40

That was something that was made, and then it became this big symbol.

1:33:401:33:44

That style of imagery became iconic even overnight.

1:33:441:33:48

Certainly, somebody who's working a lot now,

1:33:481:33:50

and people are really loving the style, is Noma Bar, who does...

1:33:501:33:55

very, very simplistic kind of vector drawings,

1:33:551:34:00

using maybe two or three, kind of, icons

1:34:001:34:02

and then making them into something new.

1:34:021:34:05

That stuff is really, really fantastic.

1:34:071:34:10

I suppose, style-wise,

1:34:101:34:12

maybe, my work can be a little bit more intricate and things,

1:34:121:34:15

but the same sort of principles apply,

1:34:151:34:17

of trying to only really use what's necessary to get a point across.

1:34:171:34:20

The work with the QFT came about...

1:34:251:34:28

I made about seven or eight of those,

1:34:281:34:30

just based on films that I like,

1:34:301:34:32

things that I thought would, kind of, suit my style and tone,

1:34:321:34:36

and a lot of that has then

1:34:361:34:38

kind of filtered into the work that I do now -

1:34:381:34:40

for example, using type to make up body shapes and things -

1:34:401:34:43

that was all, kind of, figured out when making those posters.

1:34:431:34:48

The portraits of the words and things either built into the body

1:34:501:34:53

or placed around it, within the negative space,

1:34:531:34:56

I think that, kind of, serves a nice purpose

1:34:561:34:59

of A, having a portrait done in that kind of style,

1:34:591:35:03

but then, also, the words kind of give it

1:35:031:35:06

that extra little bit of meaning to it, maybe, or...

1:35:061:35:09

You can kind of pepper words around,

1:35:091:35:11

and kind of make it even more ambiguous, as well,

1:35:111:35:14

so, you can kind of have that dual effect,

1:35:141:35:16

dependent on what it's going to be used for.

1:35:161:35:18

One of the things I always try to do as much as possible

1:35:191:35:22

is to have a really strong sense of a composition and space.

1:35:221:35:26

So, if at all possible, I like to have a lot of white space,

1:35:261:35:31

or blank space in and around,

1:35:311:35:34

so that the visual information is, kind of, contained within something,

1:35:341:35:39

cos then you, kind of, have a hierarchy of graphics

1:35:391:35:43

that are working,

1:35:431:35:44

and I think that, kind of, makes for a lot more compelling piece.

1:35:441:35:49

There's a lot of visual information out there,

1:35:531:35:55

and there is always going to be kind of an overlap, I guess.

1:35:551:35:58

I suppose the key thing for any illustrator or artist, I guess,

1:35:581:36:02

is to try and put as much of your own personality into the work

1:36:021:36:07

as you possibly can, and then at least that element

1:36:071:36:10

certainly can't be replicated in any way.

1:36:101:36:12

The Waterworks Park.

1:36:191:36:20

What do I bring home from the Waterworks Park where I walk daily?

1:36:221:36:27

The same as I leave behind.

1:36:271:36:29

Voices of waterfowl with a lot to say,

1:36:321:36:34

all of it in the original.

1:36:341:36:37

The way water lies always at the right level.

1:36:381:36:41

The heron, because of his presence -

1:36:421:36:45

the heron because of his absence.

1:36:451:36:47

The fishing club,

1:36:481:36:50

camouflaged in their little tents like a territorial army.

1:36:501:36:54

The half-flight of swans dragging their feet in the water.

1:36:541:36:59

The children pitching crusts into the dangerous storm of rings.

1:37:001:37:04

The undisturbable silence of the football stadium between matches.

1:37:061:37:10

The freewheeling of the Milewater stream

1:37:111:37:14

towards its modest white-water tumble.

1:37:141:37:16

The flattest sound in the universe - the slap of joggers' feet.

1:37:181:37:22

The voices of immigrant women

1:37:221:37:25

pushing their prams through a new country.

1:37:251:37:28

The waterlilies, the bulrushes, the greening sedge.

1:37:291:37:33

The thought of how one place can furnish your head and your heart.

1:37:341:37:39

Once more I embark on the half-hour voyage in a circle -

1:37:401:37:44

the inexhaustible mile.

1:37:441:37:46

When the mighty jiggernaut that is Riverdance

1:37:511:37:56

exploded onto the world stage in the mid-1990s,

1:37:561:37:59

it changed the face of Irish dance forever -

1:37:591:38:02

and now, one of its former principal dancers

1:38:021:38:05

is challenging what we think we know about this art form.

1:38:051:38:09

Contemporary dance is misunderstood.

1:38:161:38:19

There is a mystique around it that isn't necessary.

1:38:191:38:23

Perhaps the dancers, or the dance-makers themselves,

1:38:231:38:27

in some way make it inaccessible -

1:38:271:38:30

and I wish, in a way,

1:38:301:38:31

that we would do that less and less.

1:38:311:38:33

Movement is very, very powerful,

1:38:441:38:47

and if you can frame it in some sort of theatrical setting,

1:38:471:38:51

it can have a huge, provocative impact on the observer.

1:38:511:38:55

So, people talk about when you engage with dance,

1:38:561:38:59

is there something you should understand?

1:38:591:39:02

and I keep saying, "It's not a puzzle that we work out."

1:39:021:39:05

It is abstract.

1:39:051:39:07

I'm not meant to try to categorise this.

1:39:171:39:21

It's about its impact on me.

1:39:211:39:24

I didn't initially set out to be a dancer.

1:39:281:39:31

In fact, when I was going to dancing class,

1:39:311:39:34

there wasn't really an option to have a career in Irish dance,

1:39:341:39:37

but then Riverdance came along in '94...

1:39:371:39:40

..which eventually led on to a show,

1:39:521:39:54

and that's when my professional life as a dancer took off.

1:39:541:39:58

In 2003, I retired from dancing.

1:40:071:40:10

I left a very commercial world,

1:40:101:40:12

and then I suddenly found myself in the contemporary arts platform.

1:40:121:40:16

Sometimes something comes along,

1:40:171:40:19

and you say you have to make this for you,

1:40:191:40:21

and I knew that I had to dance for myself.

1:40:211:40:24

Linger came about because myself and Breandan have worked together

1:40:261:40:30

for a number of years.

1:40:301:40:32

Our personal stories, outside of dance and outside of our careers...

1:40:321:40:37

were quite similar - turned out to be quite similar.

1:40:371:40:40

Coming from a very small village, being an Irish dancer,

1:40:421:40:46

being an Irish speaker, being gay, all these things...

1:40:461:40:50

made me feel kind of like...

1:40:501:40:53

that I wasn't sure who I was to identify with.

1:40:531:40:57

Linger... In the early sections of Linger,

1:40:571:41:01

I try to address the idea of people constructing identities for you

1:41:011:41:05

and projecting those identities on you, and you living up to that.

1:41:051:41:09

Regardless of who you are,

1:41:201:41:21

you resonate with whatever's unfolding on stage -

1:41:211:41:24

but you'll come at it with your own history

1:41:241:41:27

as you arrive in the room

1:41:271:41:28

to consume this piece of art -

1:41:281:41:32

but there are two dancers,

1:41:321:41:34

two entities at different points of their lives.

1:41:341:41:38

What we're doing with Linger is quite new and exciting,

1:42:001:42:04

and a new movement within Irish dance.

1:42:041:42:07

Hopefully, within 20 years,

1:42:201:42:22

it may have moved on to the next level.

1:42:221:42:25

The form itself has so much dramatic and poetic potential

1:42:411:42:46

to look outside of the box

1:42:461:42:48

and not follow the presentation formats of the past -

1:42:481:42:52

just explore all the options.

1:42:521:42:55

And that's it from The Arts Show.

1:42:591:43:01

Do stay in touch with us - @bbcartshow on Twitter, and online

1:43:011:43:05

on the BBC Northern Ireland Arts home page.

1:43:051:43:08

There's loads to see and hear,

1:43:081:43:10

and, of course, we're on BBC Radio Ulster

1:43:101:43:12

Tuesdays to Fridays at 6.30, so, basically, you can't miss us.

1:43:121:43:16

Until next month, bye-bye.

1:43:161:43:18