An age of isolation, warped communication, disintegrating community, where unfiltered and unregulated information pours relentlessly into our lives, destroying what it means to be human; or an age of marvels, where there is a world of wonder at our fingertips? Ultimately, the choice is ours – engage with the machines that we have created, or risk creating a world designed for corporations and computers rather than people.
What makes a great screenplay? Structure? Dialogue? Can it take us places a novel can’t reach? Francine Stock of The Film Programme, Tim Robey, The Telegraph film critic, Oscar-winning (Gladiator) playwright of Mandela, Shadowlands and Les Miserables, Bill Nicholson and the legendary director and screenwriter of Withnail and I, Jennifer 8 and The Rum Diaries debate the strengths of their favourite film scripts and recommend a top ten screenplays of all time list. To join the conversation and make your own arguments for favourite movie scripts, please post on Hay Festival’s Facebook page or Twitter @hayfestival #nobodysperfect.
In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, has a vision for a new kind of war: attacking the enemy where they least expect it – from behind their own lines. Despite the intense opposition of many in British High Command, Winston Churchill personally gives Stirling permission to recruit the toughest, brightest and most ruthless soldiers he can find. With unprecedented access to the SAS secret files, unseen footage and exclusive interviews with its founder members, the author of Operation Mincemeat, A Spy Amongst Friends and Agent Zigzag tells the remarkable early story of the Herefordshire Regiment.
The story of Europe’s constantly shifting geopolitics and the peculiar circumstances that have made it both so impossible to dominate, and also so dynamic and ferocious. It is the story of a group of highly competitive and mutually suspicious dynasties, but also of a continent uniquely prone to interference from ‘semi-detached’ elements, such as Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Britain and (just as centrally to Simms’ argument) the United States. chaired by Jonathan Derbyshire.
To commemorate the centenary of the death of the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, who was killed by King George V’s horse during the Derby, the historian and author of March, Women, March explores the women’s movement in Britain, from the passing of the Marriage and Divorce Act in 1857 to women attaining the vote in 1928. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.
A clear-headed look at the mammal behind the myth. How intelligent are dolphins in comparison with crows, apes or chickens? Is their communication system really as complex as human language? And are they as friendly and peaceful as they are made out to be?
The presentation of the 2013 Michael Ramsey Prize for theological writing, hosted by the former Archbishop of Canterbury and the Director of the British Museum.