Films, food and other art: our pick of festival week

Fancy full immersion in the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival? We have your lunch ticket

Laurence Mackin tells us all we need to know to survive the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival this February. Video: Kathleen Harris

Mon, Feb 17, 2014, 15:42

Monday
The film
Inequality for All (Cineworld, 6pm) has all the makings of a landmark state-of-a-nation documentary. This US examination of the widening income gap between the haves and have-nots has just won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance. Its success is largely down to director Jacob Kornbluth’s ability to take complex economic problems and relate them to everyday life. A postfilm discussion featuring Sally Anne Kinahan, Nat O’Connor and Margaret Ward will be moderated by Seán Whelan of RTÉ .

The food
Where better to have a right-on argument with your mates than in a cafe with a social conscience? Third Space in Smithfield (14 Smithfield Market) is a restaurant that also wants to be a community hub. The food is cheap and good, and the space is big and airy. A firm local favourite.

The other
Richard Mosse’s exhibition The Enclave, at the RHA on Ely Place, uses an obscure film format to take large-scale images in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, which renders the landscape in unsettling shades of violent colour. It’s an ambitious take on war photography that’s provoking as much discussion for its politics as for its aesthetics.

Tuesday
The film talk
Few people know the film industry better than Paulo Branco, one of the best independent producers in the world. Since 1979 he has moved, shaken and hustled more than 270 films into production, and worked with David Cronenberg, Wim Wenders, Cédric Kahn and Andrzej Zulawski. He’s a Cannes specialist, having had more films selected for the festival and more Palme D’Or nominations than anyone else. On Tuesday at 4pm in Brooks Hotel on Drury Street he’ll be revealing a few secrets of his success.

The food
There’s no need to even step outside the doors of Brooks: this is one of the rare hotels that also have an excellent restaurant under their roof, and one of the few food secrets left in the city. Francesca’s has been led from the kitchen by chef Patrick McLarnon for 15 years. This newspaper’s restaurant critic, Catherine Cleary, gave it a glowing review in September, so this is just the place to wine and dine Paulo Branco before convincing him to get on board with that stellar script you’ve been slaving over.

The other
Keep things classy by tripping up as far as the Gate Theatre for The Vortex, an edgy Noël Coward comedy. This, his first hit, is built on a much darker seam than his other cut-glass comedies: expect a quality production from director Annabelle Comyn. Until March 22nd.

Wednesday
The film
Guido Marchetti (Kim Rossi Stuart) is a narcissistic artist with grand plans who makes sculptures by lashing plaster on to naked models. Serena (Micaela Ramazzotti) is having none of it, nor is she fooled by it, with a pout only an Italian could perfect. Those Happy Years (Cineworld, 6pm) is a turbulent tale from 1970s Italy, so expect plenty of colour and emotion, but this one also does a fine line in subtlety, thanks to director Daniele Luchetti.

The food
Watch any decent Italian film and you’ll be hungry before long, and when it comes to Italian food, Terra Madre on Bachelors Walk offers the city’s best. The menu changes all the time, the pasta is flown in weekly from a tiny village in Italy called Campofilone, the lardo is matured for up to nine months in marble basins, the atmosphere in the tiny basement room is a notch below chaotic, and the house red is all too drinkable.

The other
Chances are you are reading this article having forgotten all about St Valentine’s day (it was yesterday: yes, that explains the bad mood), so now you might be in desperate need of a perfect date that you have come up with all on your own. Seal the deal with an exhibition of real love letters at the Centre for Creative Practices (15 Lower Pembroke Street). Many were found or bought in antique shops. This one isn’t for the faint of heart.

Thursday
The film
The Grand Seduction (Light House, 6.15pm) is a Canadian comedy about a sleepy fishing village and its giant red herring. A plastics company plans to set up shop in the town, bringing much-needed employment, but the contract stipulates that a doctor must be based there permanently. Cue the hamlet’s mass attempts at seducing Dr Lewis (Taylor Kitsch), a dodgy plastic surgeon, into moving in by emphasising the backwater’s cosmopolitan credentials. Brendan Gleeson also stars as one of the well-salted townsfolk.

The food
A film like this requires an old-school approach to fish dishes, and they don’t come much more traditional than the Lord Edward on Christchurch Place. This is Dublin’s oldest seafood restaurant, above the pub of the same name. It might be €39, but its table d’hote is good value for a substantial, classy, old-world set up. If your wallet can’t stretch to that, you could always go for the cheap and cheerful takeaway option of fish and chips from Leo Burdock’s on Werburgh Street, just around the corner.

The other
For more than 30 years Susan Wood has been a top photographer, working on movie sets such as Easy Rider, for magazines such as Vogue, and with individuals such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono. This exhibition at the City Assembly House, on South William Street, collects a number of her works, much of them unrehearsed shots of some of film’s most iconic actors. Until February 22nd.

Friday
The film event
Shameless self-promotion alert: I will be hosting a Q&A with film writers (Irish Writers’ Centre, 4.30pm), discussing the relationship between books and film, and how a literary voice translates on to the screen. Among those joining the discussion will be author John Connolly, screenwriter Malcolm Campbell (What Richard Did), film-maker Pat Murphy (Nora); writer-director Michael Kinirons (Lowland Fell); and writer-director Darren Thornton (Love Is the Drug). Best of all, it’s free (but ticketed).

The food
Seeing as you’ve saved all that money at a free event, and the lineup above has given you all the tools you need to launch a money-spinning career in scripting, why not blow the budget at Chapter One? Its lunch menu clocks in at great top-end value at €29 for two courses, or you can go all out at the Chef’s Table, and watch the kitchen first hand while having its six-course lunch tasting menu for €45 a head. Behind the scenes in film and food in one day, then.

The other
This is as good an opportunity as any to remind yourself of the genius of one of our finest artists. Patrick Scott: Image Space Light is one show at two venues (Imma, in Dublin and Visual, in Carlow) and the galleries say it’s the most comprehensive show of his work to date.

Saturday
The film
Violent, brilliant and furious, A Touch of Sin (Light House, 8.15pm) deftly weaves together four plot lines across China’s enormous social and geographic distance. Nominated for a Palme d’Or, and winner of best screenplay at Cannes, this is the latest crime film from Jia Zhang-ke. It draws on real-life events and wuxia stories to create a contemporary vision with typically elegant choreography and plenty of grit. The film has not yet been released in China, having fallen foul of the country’s strict censorship laws.

The food
One of the finest Asian restaurants in the city is just a few streets away from Smithfield. Musashi has terrific ramen and noodle dishes, and its gyoza are outstanding, but it’s perhaps best known for its sushi. Prices are reasonable, but book in advance: the small dining room is never less than busy.

The other
Speaking of elegant choreography, St Vincent will be bringing her astounding live show and flawless musical execution to Dublin’s Olympia tonight. Her live show with David Byrne at this year’s Electric Picnic was one of the best festival slots ever in this country. Expect her to pull no punches now she’s back in full flight with her own band.

Sunday
The film
The festival feels as if it’s finishing on a home straight, with a strong Irish representation in the last day’s field. Early in the afternoon you can tackle the Elephant in the Room (the Church, 3pm), a panel discussion on how our national cinema is handled by its audience, and how Irish films represent our country in the 21st century. Among those putting the Paddywhackery in its place will be journalist Sinéad Gleeson, director John Butler and film-maker Neasa Hardiman. Later that evening you can see whether Butler does more than talk a good game when his debut, The Stag, featuring some of our best actors, premieres (Savoy, 7.30pm).

The food
If it’s the best of Irish on screen, you’ll need the best of Irish on a plate. Try the weekend brunch menu at the Winding Stair for Fermanagh black pig sticky ribs, Irish seafood chowder and black pudding sausages.

The other
Across town, the Royal Hospital Kilmainham will be hosting another of the year’s cultural highlights: the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards. If, like Sam Mendes, you’re a fan of the theatre – when asked about directing in 3D, he replied “I already do. It’s called theatre” – you’ll be wanting to keep an eye on the results by checking #ittheatreawards on Twitter as the evening goes on. The event is by invitation only, but you might manage to sneak in with Hugh O’Conor: he’ll be legging it across town fresh from the premiere of The Stag, in which he stars, to see whether he has won this year’s best supporting actor award. Now that’s commitment to the art.
 

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.