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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: February 17, 2011 @ 6:12 pm

    If you only do one thing this weekend: get tied up in knots

    Laurence Mackin

    See: What do silent-film star Charlie Chaplin and playwright Eugene O’Neill have in common? The answer is tied up in knots of his own making. James Thiérrée is the grandson of Chaplin and the great-grandson of O’Neill and, understandably, he seems to have performance in the blood. In an article in this Saturday’s Irish Times Magazine, Sara Keating writes that he spent “much of his childhood touring theatres across Europe, performing as a piece of luggage that sprouted little legs and ran around”. Who hasn’t James, who hasn’t? His latest show, Raoul, is a tad more ambitious, that mixes acrobatics, theatre and dance, and he claims it is the most intense thing he has ever done. Thiérrée already has plenty of local fans, following performances at Galway Arts Festival, and this latest show at the Abbey Theatre, which opens on Friday night, could be his best yet. It ends on February 26th so you’ll have to be quick off the mark to get tickets.

    Let’s not discuss the elephant in the room. He’s very sensitive

    Watch: Get yourself an extra large box of popcorn, set the phone to silent, and settle into your velour chair for this year’s Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, or JDiff as all the hip cats are calling it, which is odd because cats can’t speak. The festival opens tonight with some fantastic screenings including: Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a 3D documentary about the cave art at Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc shot by Werner Herzog; Route Irish, Ken Loach’s take on the world of privatised security in Iraq; and Norwegian Wood, an adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s novel. See jdiff.com for more movie information, and you can click here for Donald Clarke’s personal selection.

    Take in: Steve McCurry’s name is spoken of in hushed terms by photographers. He is the man who used up the last roll of Kodachrome (a film so good they named an American national park after it); he smuggled himself into Afghanistan during the Russian invasion dressed as a native, and smuggled his films back out stitched into the seams of this clothing; and he took that picture of an Afghan refugee that became synonymous with the conflict and was named “the most recognised photograph” in the history of National Geographic magazine (he gave the story a fitting coda by tracking the same girl down decades later). So it is something of a coup for the Gallery of Photography in Dublin to arrange an exhibition of his work, called Worlds of Colour. McCurry will be in town in early March for a public talk, but in the mean time you can soak up the lustrous colours and stunning portraits that have all the luminosity and personal touch of an oil painting. And if you can’t make it to Dublin, you could get this weekend’s Irish Times Magazine, which features an interview with McCurry written be, ahem, me. Ah self-promotion is a tasteless thing.

    If looks could kill, McCurry would be feeling quite poorly

    That’s our selection for the weekend. And if you thought that Steve McCurry plug was bad, wait for this one: this week I’ve mostly been living with Mogwai’s new album, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. I saw them attempt to destroy the Olympia with the power of rock on Tuesday night (you can read my review here) and I’ll be popping up on RTE’s Arena arts show to review the album tomorrow (Friday). I’ve seen Mogwai a few times, I do like the new album, but sometimes you can’t beat a classic, and when they slipped Helicon 1 into the set the other night, I could have wept for joy had I not learned from an early age how to repress emotions down into bitter little pills that explode violently at the least unexpected of moments. So here it is from the band’s live film, Burning, which was released last year. Sublime.

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