7 days and nights
Critics guide to going out
Twenty, IMMA, Kilmainham, Dublin 8
Hard as it is to believe, the rather glorious Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) has reached the grand old age of 20. And IMMA is celebrating this milestone birthday with a proper shindig tonight. This launches a major exhibition presenting a snapshot of our current generation of artists. Including installations, photography, painting and sculpture, many of the works in Twenty: Celebrating 20 Years of the Irish Museum of Modern Art are being shown for the first time, having recently been acquired. Highlights include pieces by Orla Barry, Stephen Brandes, John Gerrard, David Godbold, Paddy Jolley, Nevan Lahart, Niamh McCann, Willie McKeown, Perry Ogden, Eva Rothschild and our representative at the upcoming Venice Biennale, Corban Walker. Phew. The exhibition continues until October and is bound to provoke as much heated debate about the works included as those omitted. Be part of the discussion.
SATURDAY, MAY 28
Kings of Leon, Slane Castle, Co Meath
From hipster crush to the people's band, Kings of Leon have made the transition many musicians dream of but few dare pull off. It seems hilarious now, but when first they surfaced from the depths of the American Old South, the Followill brothers were much beloved by critics and the sort of edgy types who are nowadays going around telling everyone how much they adore Tyler, the Creator (sorry chaps -- sometimes misogyny is just misogyny). Of course, this was before monster hits Sex on Fire and Use Somebody saw Kings of Leon crashing the mainstream monster-truck style. Now they are headlining Slane and it is difficult to imagine a more appropriate hook-up. Just as KoL hark back to an older generation of stadium rock bands, so the idea of Slane's one size fits all bill feels deliciously quaint in this era of multiple-stages and carefully curated festivals. We only hope that Kings of Leon put in a better performance than at the O2 last Christmas when they couldn't have been more workmanlike had they arrived with a wheelbarrow full of bricks and a spirit level. It's worth turning up early to catch support acts Elbow and White Lies, though the presence of awful pub-rockers Mona means there will also be time to nip to the burger bar.
SUNDAY, MAY 29
Fastnet Short Film Festival, Schull, West Cork
There is something undeniably special about the West Cork harbour village of Schull, which explains why it is such a magnet for artistic types. Many international names have hideaways in the nearby hills and you can expect lots of familiar faces to pop up at this annual treasure of a film festival. Celebrating the art of the short film, this Fastnet Festival always manages to draw a ridiculously impressive line up and this year is no exception. Running from Friday until today's closing, highlights include appearances by Carmel Winters, Gerry Stembridge, Juanita Wilson and our recent representative at Cannes with her directorial debut, Rebecca Daly. As the village has no cinema, short films are shown in many alternate venues ... from a village hall, to a horse box, from a cycling cinema to what they claim to be the smallest cinema in the world. Tonight's closing event will be rather special too: Lord David Puttnam and Sandy Lieberson will be interviewed by the Chairman of the British Film Institute, Greg Dyke.
MONDAY, MAY 30
Le Quattro Volte, Limited Release.
Now, we should preface our strong recommendation of Michelangelo Frammartino's Le Quattro Volte by saying that the film will definitely not be for everyone. In one sense, nothing happens: a shepherd in a remote Calabrian village tends his flock and falls ill; his dog gets loose and plays havoc with the annual Passion play; a goat gets lost, a woman sweeps the church. But there's a lot more under the surface, and Frammartino's beautifully photographed film is a wise and witty meditation on the unending cycle of life and death. You'll see nothing else like it this year.
TUESDAY, MAY 31
Perve, Peacock Theatre, Dublin 1
Gethin is 23, just finished a film course and reckons he's the next Scorsese. His mum is on at him to do her friend's wedding video -- before they get divorced. But Gethin is interested in a much more daring project, one that will test his friendships, piss off his sister, question his idealism and turn his life upside down. Such is the opening premise for Stacey Gregg's Perve, receiving its world premiere at the Peacock Theatre tonight. Promising an interrogation of paranoia, ambiguity and innocence in our highly sexualised world, this is directed by the very up-and-coming Roisin McBrinn and stars Jane Brennan, Peter Campion and Hilda Fay.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1
Ellie Goulding, Olympia Theatre
Is it just us or does anyone else think it's really make or break time for Ellie Goulding? Enough of the hype, enough of the spiel, the next Florence and the Machine, the next Amy Winehouse hoopla. Just sing a song that lingers in the memory, give us a tune that we instantly identify as yours. Yes, you have a voice, yes, you have lovely hair, yes, you were asked to sing at Will and Kate's little wedding, but do you really have it? Well, Ellie will be stepping up to the Olympia's mic tonight to prove exactly what she's made of.
THURSDAY, JUNE 2
The Hangover: Part 2, On General Release
So the wait is over and it's here. Will this provide the laughing gas for another summer? Sadly not. Todd Phillip's eagerly anticipated sequel to the 2009 hit comedy shifts the action from Las Vegas to Thailand, where Stu (Ed Helms) is getting married. With him are his friends Phil, Doug and Alan, who manage to jeopardise the entire event within a day of arriving. Phillips employs the same premise of the friends waking up horrifically hungover and trying to retrace a trail of destruction, but brings absolutely nothing new to a film that disastrously lacks the charm and likeability of the original.
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