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Take One Action Film Festival 2011

25 Aug 2011

Event highlights from the political film fest

Radical, committed, and delivering a great, high-quality programme, this year the Take One Action Film Festival, celebrating, as patron Archbishop Desmond Tutu puts it ‘the people and movies that are changing the world’, has an excellent programme of…

The Kennedys fares poorly in comparison to The West Wing

28 Jun 2011

BBC TV series can only trundle its way to various fiery denouements

Were you to catch a distant earful of the string-laden theme tune for The Kennedys (BBC2, Fri, 9pm), and glimpse, out the corner of one eye, some swimmy stars and stripes, you could be half-forgiven for thinking that someone has stuck on a West Wing…

Refugee Week Scotland

27 May 2011

The week-long events programme sets its stall, 60 years after the UN Refugee Convention was signed

We’re huge supporters of Refugee Week – so it’s with a happy heart that we can report it’s back bigger and better than ever before. As well as all the special events, activities and talks, this year’s programme boasts Courage: 60 Years of the UN Refugee…

The Pipe

23 May 20114 stars

Risteard O’Domhnaill's stirring documentary shows a community's fight against big business

(12A) 83min In 1996 natural gas was discovered off the west coast of Ireland. Shortly afterwards, Shell UK announced plans to run a pipe through the waters and land of Rossport in County Mayo to an inland refinery. Risteard O’Domhnaill’s remarkable…

Countdown to Zero

23 May 20113 stars

Documentary highlights the problems with nuclear weapons, but proposes no solutions

Following the success of last year’s Oscar-nominated Waste Land, British filmmaker Lucy Walker returns with a persuasive argument for nuclear disarmament in her latest documentary, Countdown to Zero. Featuring a range of high-profile talking heads…

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Scotland's biggest ever Refugee Week celebrates the 60th anniversary of the signing of the UN Refugee Convention

17 May 2011

This year, Scotland’s ever-expanding programme of films, performances, music events, exhibitions and club nights celebrating the contribution that refugees have made to our society is marking a very important anniversary: it’s 60 years since the UN…

UK playwrights fight government cuts

18 Feb 2011

Theatre Uncut features work by Mark Ravenhill, David Greig, Lucy Kirkwood and Jack Thorne

Scotland’s art scene seldom stands on ceremony and next month looks set to be just as impressive as Bedlam Theatre hosts a day of theatre, music and talk, as part of a nationwide stand against the Government spending review. Playwrights including Mark…

Dominic Streatfeild - A History of the World Since 9/11

9 Feb 20114 stars

Explores victims caught in the less than friendly fire raging since 9/11

(Atlantic) Penning histories of mind control and cocaine can hardly be described as flights of literary fancy, but Dominic Streatfeild has now hit the mother lode of seriousness with his new work. Ever since those two towers came tumbling down, the…

George Clooney happy to stay out of politics

22 Jan 2011

Celebrity Gossip

George Clooney would never want to be president because he doesn't want to answer to anyone else. The American actor has always been quite vocal with his political views but says he has no intention to run for office as he sees what immense pressure…

Creative Scotland director Andrew Dixon: Why successful cities make creative places

11 Jan 2011

The head of the replacement body for the Scottish Arts Council offers a view on the year ahead

Some of the most successful modern cities in Europe, from Amsterdam to Barcelona, Madrid to Venice, have come to be defined by their artistic and cultural lives. Likewise here in the UK there are many examples of cities that have, in their own way, used…

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Scottish Parliament building hosts exhibition exploring Jacobites' international legacy

13 Dec 2010

Rare chance to see historic artefacts from University of Aberdeen

The Scottish Parliament building hosts an exhibition of historical pieces from the University of Aberdeen's Jacobite collections for the next month.

Storyville: Mandelson - The Real PM

22 Nov 2010

Channel Hopper

Winston Churchill once described Labour’s postwar deputy PM Herbert Morrison as a mix of ‘genius and venom’. A lot worse has been said about Morrison’s grandson Peter Mandelson, the Prince of Darkness (aka the Dark Lord) and key architect of New Labour…

PJ O'Rourke - Don’t Vote! It Just Encourages the Bastards

19 Nov 20103 stars

Caustic witticisms from Ohio-born Gonzo graduate not for everyone

(Grove Press) They say that the natural tendency is to get more right-wing with age. Few American political commentators embody this ethical shift more than PJ O’Rourke. A former ‘hippie’ turned Republican Party Reptile, it would be easy to loathe…

Steve Bell - If . . . Bursts Out

19 Nov 20104 stars

Hilarious and hurtful collection of vibrantly satiric strips

(Jonathan Cape) When Ed Miliband was elected leader of the Labour Party, the Guardian website ran footage of cartoonist Steve Bell turning his observations of the new man at the podium into a mocking cartoon. As Bell takes up his spot near the front…

Family weekend: Rebels with a Cause – The Jacobites and the Global Imagination

17 Nov 2010

Traditional music, egg decorating and quiz among highlights of weekend of free children's events

Rebels with a Cause – The Jacobites and the Global Imagination Wednesday 27 October to Saturday 8 January (closed Sundays except Sunday 28 November and 24 - 28, 31 December and 1 - 3 January) Monday and Friday 10:00 - 16.00 (last entry 15:30)…

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Take One Action film festival showcases best in political cinema

23 Sep 2010

Budrus, Nero’s Guests and Sweet Crude among highlights of 2010

Take One Action! should have enough films in their 2010 programme to get the most politically slothful citizen socially activated. The film Budrus focuses on small actions leading to big results, with villagers in the little titular town taking things…

The Special Relationship

22 Sep 20104 stars

(15) 88min (Optimum) The third part of writer Peter Morgan’s excellent ‘Blair trilogy’ focuses on the relationship between the former PM and US president Bill Clinton. While Blair will probably be primarily remembered for what many perceive to have…

Glasgow walk encourages critical engagement with centre

14 Aug 2010

Guided walk of city explores use of urban space

The skyscraper-crammed stretch of city centre basking in the title Glasgow’s International Financial Services District is a strange place at the best of times. During the day, the tower blocks are full of call-centre workers; at night the street corners…

Festival of Politics - Annie Lennox on HIV/AIDS in South Africa

14 Aug 2010

Founder of the SING campaign set for Edinburgh appearance

1. Becoming a UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador recently has strengthened and broadened my platform. Michel Sidibé, the director of UNAIDS, is a real visionary who has a very clear and innovative directive as to how he wants to lead the response to the HIV…

Gary Younge visits the Edinburgh Book Festival

6 Aug 2010

Exploring issues of identity across this mad world

Returning to Edinburgh holds bittersweet memories for Gary Younge. He was in the city as a student in the late 80s, studying Russian and French at Heriot-Watt and was awestruck by the geography of his new surroundings. ‘Having grown up in Stevenage…

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Martin Bell discusses lack of faith in politicians in Edinburgh visit

6 Aug 2010

Festival of Politics and Book Festival appearances scheduled

The man in the white suit is in town for an event at the Festival of Politics but he’s also kindly dropping by to charm the punters in Charlotte Square. Here, he will be discussing the lack of faith we now have in our elected representatives, mainly due…

The Shock Doctrine

23 Jul 20104 stars

Second adaptation of Naomi Klein’s capitalism analysis

(E) 79min (Dogwoof) Not to be confused with Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón’s 2007 short, this second adaptation of Naomi Klein’s chilling book about the evils of modern capitalism is the full-length 2009 documentary co-directed by Michael…

Martin Bell, Mark Thomas and Annie Lennox set for Festival of Politics

16 Jul 2010

Power of the People event examines political process

Were you depressed by the outcome of the general election? The Conservatives back in power despite being all but annihilated in Scotland. Labour collapsed despite being endorsed north of the border. The Lib Dems putting Cameron in Downing Street. The…

Annie Lennox provides HIV/AIDS campaign update

16 Jul 2010

Festival of Politics 2010

A regular visitor to the Scottish Parliament come August time, former Eurythmics co-leader Annie Lennox takes part in two events. First up she is joined by comic Mark Thomas and former war correspondent turned independent MP Martin Bell in Power of the…

How American journalist Heather Brooke became a threat to UK democracy

15 Jul 2010

Five year investigation uncovers parliamentary expenses scandal

In the introduction to her book, The Silent State, Heather Brooke describes herself as a ‘nosey parker’. Whereas some people can’t walk past a curtain without needing to twitch it, Brooke has a yearning to poke around into the lives of those authority…