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Congratulations AROUND TOWN Little surprise that the newly refurbished National Museum of Scotland has attracted over half a million visitors since re-opening at the end of July. See to see what all the fuss is (quite rightly) about, or even better, pay a visit to the museum yourself on Chambers Street, Edinburgh. to B O O K S Edinburgh author Nicola Morgan who has been shortlisted for the Scottish Children’s Book Awards. Her latest novel Wasted falls into the Older Readers category. FILM Here at The List we’re big fans of the 48 Hour Film Project, so are pleased to hear that the prize for this year’s competition is flights and accomodation for Filmapalooza at the Taos Shortz Film Festival in New Mexico. Budding film-makers can throw their hat into the ring on 8–9 Oct, when 2000 participants work to make over 140 films. See for more. In other film-making news, the Deep Fried Film Festival is preparing to go global. The event is now planning synchronised events in Japan, Canada the US. See for more. M U S I C Edinburgh’s festivals may be over, but their footprints remain, with many new developments to look forward to in 2012. Case in point being the news that conductor Valery Gergiev has been named Honorary President of the Edinburgh International Festival his predecessors in the role include Yehudi Menuhin and Charles Mackerras. THEATRE Traverse Theatre welcome a new artistic



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ARTS AND CULTURE NEWS COVERED IN TWO MINUTES director in January 2012 when Orla O’Loughlin of Pentabus Theatre takes up the post. Elsewhere, The National Theatre of Scotland launches two new programmes designed to help nurture and grow the talents of writers and directors in Scotland. The New Directors Placement Programme (awarded to Amanda Goughan, Ross Mackay and Jenna Watt) and the Emerging Artists Attachment programme (awarded to Alan Bissett pictured below, Amanda Monfrooe, Stef Smith and Molly Taylor) have been set up to allow three directors and four emerging artists the chance to work with the NToS for a year.

Elsewhere, there are few things The List enjoys more than a decent tune and a glass of wine, so we’re happy to see Oran Mor preparing to accommodate our every whim with the return of A Bottle of Wine & Patsy Cline. Following the success of its last run, Morag Fullarton’s musical re-imagining of Cline’s short life returns from 12 Oct, with musical arrangements by Dave Anderson and Gail Watson in the role of the country singer. Fans should also look out for a Gaelic language documentary about the

singer’s life to be screened on TV later this year. V I S U A L A R T Christine Leathem has been announced as the winner of the first ever anCnoc and Glasgow Print Studio artist competition. Leathem won the prize for her lithograph Untitled, after a judging session by artist and playwright John Byrne. The prize includes £500 and a visit to the anCnoc distillery, to gain further inspiration from the surrounding landscape. National Museum of Scotland

Channel Hopper

Dispatches from the sofa, with Brian Donaldson

A trio of tough guys beat up an old man with a full wallet. Except they picked on the wrong pensioner as his immediate act of bloody retribution proves before we are swept back in time to 1977 and to a Rome burning with political murders, bombs, drug-running, kidnappings and bearded wannabe Mafiosi urinating against a tree together. And so begins the crime drama which La Stampa dubbed ‘the best television series ever produced in Italy’. Romanzo Criminale (Sky Arts,

Tue 4 Oct, 9pm) centres on a young firebrand called Lebanese whose desire to rise to the top of the criminal pile is matched only by his ability in surrounding himself with buffoons: keys to a contraband truck go missing; corpses are buried on a construction site; a hostage-taker makes a ransom phone call but nearly chokes on the ping pong ball he uses to disguise his voice.

Meanwhile, an idealistic cop making steps up his own career ladder appears to be the only person not in the pay of the Mafia or corrupt officials as he attempts to knobble the gang’s operation. Whether a series like Romanzo Criminale would have seen the light of day over here even a couple of years ago is debatable, but the success of European crime dramas such as Wallander, The Killing and Spiral has opened up a few new avenues for those whose brains have yet to be dulled by a constant stream of Cowell culture.

The Italian job 22 Sep–20 Oct 2011 THE LIST 10