Going out: Seven days and nights
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12
Japanese Film Festival, various locations
Japanese cinema is hotter than hot at the moment and this year's Japanese Film Festival has nabbed an impressive six Irish premieres to keep local cineastes ahead of the curve.
After an opening in Cork earlier this week, the festival continues in Dublin today before moving to Limerick, Waterford and finally Galway.
Highlights of this year's programme include Colorful, the multi-award winning animated feature from Keiichi Hara; Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, a mind-bending and surreal time-travel epic animation; the fascinating food documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, which is sure to appeal to the legions of Japanese food fans with its celebration of the art of sushi; and the moving character drama Villain from renowned director Lee Sang-il.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13
Vintage Fashion & Décor Fair, Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire
Prepare your finest seamed stockings, your elbow gloves, your (fake) fur stoles, your swing dresses -- and that's just for the chaps.
This vintage fair is one of the best in town, featuring clothes and accessories going back six decades, along with vintage hair stylists to give your locks the look.
You can spy all sorts of original memorabilia -- from 50s radios to film posters, pretty china and opera glasses.
There will be more than 50 specialist exhibitors and anyone arriving in a vintage car gets in for free. You will find yourself wondering why it is that new designs never look as elegant as vintage.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14
The Rum Diary, General Release
Johnny Depp was the driving force behind this film based on a novel by his late, lamented friend Hunter S Thompson, and he stars as a hard-drinking American writer called Paul Kemp who arrives in Puerto Rico in 1960 to take up a job at a local newspaper.
The San Juan Star is edited by a maniac and is about to go out of business.
Kemp is too busy drinking to notice, but discovers he has ethics when he gets mixed up with a dodgy American speculator and a squalid land deal.
Slight but amusing for the most part, The Rum Diary rolls along nicely for a good hour or so, and features nicely judged performances from Depp, Richard Jenkins and Michael Rispoli. But the film is let down a little by a damp squib of an ending.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15
Under the Dark Cloth, Sugar Club, Dublin 2
Duke Special doesn't like to tread the safe, predictable path. No greatest-hits concert here or pop-anthems covers night there for this Belfast dreadlocker. He arrives in Dublin with this most idiosyncratic concert of songs based on a selection of photographs from The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand.
He wrote these songs after a year of living with the images, reading about the photographers, their subjects, their equipment and the times in which they lived and worked.
Prepare for the unexpected.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16
Bogboy, Civic Theatre, Tallaght
"I want to be like other people, other people who come into the cafe, put down their shopping and have a scone, just sit there having a scone, ya know, away from all the shite ... "
When Brigit leaves the chaos of her life in Dublin, she meets reclusive farmer Hughie Dolan and finds her first hopes for a future.
Deirdre Kinahan's latest play is the story of two lost souls, one beautiful friendship and a secret that won't stay buried. Directed by Jo Mangan, it stars Steve Blount, Sorcha Fox, Noelle Brown and Emmet Kirwan and it plays in the Civic until Saturday at the end of its mini-tour.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17
Gillian Welch, Grand Canal Theatre, Dublin 2
Eight years in the planning, Gillian Welch's new album, Harrow and Harvest, has proved worth the wait.
Sending devotees of Appalachian crossover pop into a heartfelt apoplexy, the record showcases both Welch's skills as a composer and her remarkable ability to channel the old-timey sensibility of the mountain music of the American interior.
Combining such influences as blue-grass, alt country and a songwriter tradition stretching from Dylan to Woody Guthrie, Harrow and Harvest is a remarkable record -- an excursion into the heart of the 'real America' that manages not to feel like an antique temporarily liberated from its glass case.
She doesn't play Ireland very often -- if you are a devotee, this Grand Canal performance isn't to be missed.
Day & Night