Monday 23 April 2018

The pleasure list: Little film diamonds all set to shine again

Lights, camera, action: Claire Byrne will add a touch of glamour to the Cork Film Festival.
Lights, camera, action: Claire Byrne will add a touch of glamour to the Cork Film Festival.
The Spit Wine Festival takes place on October 29.
The Knitting and Stitching Show is on at the RDS from November 12-15.

It's the diamond anniversary of the Cork Film festival. That's 60 years, growing, developing, responding and innovating, and this year's festival, from November 6-15, is an excellent collection of screenings, events and appearances.

Actor, director and author Simon Callow will give an extended introduction to Orson Welles' classic F For Fake, marking the 100th anniversary of the film icon's birth. The RTÉ Concert Orchestra will perform the live score to David Lean's romantic masterpiece, Brief Encounter, on the Cork Opera House stage.

Over 50 Irish short films will be shown, including a mock-doc made by Dublin actor Hugh O'Connor, along with a screening of Lasse Hallstrom's Chocolat at the Farmgate Cafe as part of this year's food-themed programme, and the Gala screening of Strangerland, starring Nicole Kidman. There will be a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Rory Gallagher's passing, and RTÉ broadcaster Claire Byrne will chair a panel discussion on 'The Relevance and Future of Irish Content in the Broadcasting Media'. Let's get to Cork, quick.

So, should you spit or swallow?

Do you think it's time you learned a little more about wine? How to tell a Burgundy from a Bordeaux? What independent wine makers to look out for? As it becomes easier to find really interesting wines in this country, this seems like a good moment to explore a little further, into what can seem a dauntingly expert area. And the Spit Wine festival is a good place to start. Taking place at Smock Alley Theatre next Thursday October 29, this is aimed at both amateur tipplers and professional sommeliers, and offers the chance to taste from 150 wines, including a critics' selection and a bloggers selection; test your tastebuds in the Blind Tasting Competition or just enjoy the hustle and bustle of the day. This festival of independent wine importers champions diversity and choice - meaning that if you love wine and are interested in trying something out-of-the-ordinary, meeting winemakers who are passionate and dedicated to what they do, and tasting wines made in more authentic ways - then Spit is the wine tasting for you.

It's a stitch-up ... but the very best kind in the RDS

You would be forgiven for thinking that knitting only really took off in this country four or five years ago, when a new wave of 'stitch bitches' took to it as a means of creative expression.

In fact, of course, this is something that goes back forever, a tradition that has lasted through generations.

And so, Darn! The Knitting and Stitching Show at the RDS from November 12-15, is now in its 21st year.

Record numbers of enthusiasts are expected to pack out the RDS, where they can source top quality supplies, including knitting yarn and accessories, from 200 exhibitors, as well as enjoy the Graduate Showcase, a stunning exhibition of work. The Learning Curve programme will offer an extensive selection of workshops: in beadwork, crochet, cross stitch, dressmaking, embroidery and more. No wonder the remarkable popularity of these traditional crafts just keeps growing.

Healthy and happy, thanks to Neven's latest Nation's Favourite

The healthy food revolution is one that just won't go away -thank goodness. More and more chefs are turning to the kinds of recipes that will promote energy, longevity and vitality. However, it can all get a bit confusing at times; wheat or no wheat? What about dairy? And is it ever ok to eat sugar? Happily, Neven Maguire is on hand, to keep things simple and do-able, with a collection of easy-to-understand-and-follow recipes that will make a big difference to your life. The Nation's Favourite Healthy Food is a collection of 100 new, light and modern recipes, all healthy, all delicious. So along with sections on beef, chicken, fish, desserts and snacks, you will find healthy alternatives to takeaways.

These include low-carb lunches, omega 3 rich suppers and nutrient- packed vegetable juices, including a delicious sounding carrot, ginger, mint and orange juice. Not everything is free-from, but there are great recipes for refined-sugar-free, dairy-free and wheat-free dining that don't compromise.

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