Often mislabelled as a punk rocker, British singer-songwriter Ian Dury was almost indescribably unique.

Andy Serkis and screenwriter Paul Viragh with Amanda Palmer at the FPS Q&A
A victim of childhood polio, he did not allow an omnipresent leg brace to slow him down in the slightest as he combined the national traditions of music hall and pub rock with a dash of, yes, punk, into a warm, infectious brew.   

The film Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll portrays the life of Ian Dury, with a phenomenal central performance by serial scene-stealer Andy Serkis.

Serkis even performs many of Dury's classic tunes with his original backing band, the Blockheads - including Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3, Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, and of course, Dury's signature tune that both defined and satirised an era: Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.

Andy Serkis and screenwriter Paul Viragh join Amanda Palmer, Al Jazeera's head of entertainment, and the FPS audience for a family-friendly Q&A about Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.

No One Knows About Persian Cats

The stars of No One Knows About Persian Cats
Kurdish-Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival with his first feature, A Time For Drunken Horses.

He continued to win numerous awards with later films that featured the Kurdish minority and pushed the boundaries of state censorship and artistic repression.

His latest feature, No One Knows About Persian Cats, his first to delve beyond Kurdish issues, is about a group of young musicians in Tehran attempting to form an "illegal" band despite the very real dangers facing such an enterprise.

Ghobadi knows of these dangers first-hand. His co-writer on Persian Cats, the American journalist Roxana Saberi, was arrested and imprisoned in 2009 on charges of espionage, only to be released on a suspended sentence just two days before the screening of the film at the Cannes Film Festival. Saberi was not just Ghobai's co-writer; she is also his fiancée.

Ghobadi speaks to FPS about all this and more, as we preview this absorbing and hot-topic new film. 


It's getting hot in here - inside the Israeli
tank in Lebanon
Lebanon, the much-lauded new film by Israeli director Samuel Maoz, follows in two fine traditions.

First, it evokes the tense and claustrophobic atmosphere of Das Boot, the gripping 1981 German film set almost entirely within a World War II submarine. 

Lebanon, which won the top prize at the last Venice Film Festival, takes places entirely within the confines of a disabled Israeli tank trapped behind enemy lines during the 1982 Lebanon War.   

The film also follows in the tradition of some superb recent Israeli films directed by military veterans about the trauma of the long-running Lebanon War: Beaufort (2007) and Waltz With Bashir (2008). 

FPS speaks to Maoz about his surprise win in Venice and the need to dehumanise oneself in order to survive battle.

This episode of The Fabulous Picture Show can be seen from Thursday, February 18, at the following times GMT: Thursday: 0600, 1630; Friday: 0130, 0830; Saturday: 1130, 2330; Sunday: 0630, 2030; Monday: 1430; Tuesday: 1930; Wednesday: 0300.

Source: Al Jazeera