2 September 2014

Top Tips for the Weekend

07:41, Nadine O'Regan, Books & Arts Editor

Beat the January blues with the First Fortnight festival, check out an 18-year old singer-songwriter and the latest star-studded cinema release: Nadine O'Regan's Top Tips.

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**GO TO**

**The First Fortnight festival.** January is the worst month for the blues, which is why it's the perfect time for the **First Fortnight festival**, which aims to fight the stigma surrounding mental health issues through the medium of arts events and discussions. The festival kicked off earlier this week, with the release of smiley-faced helium clouds around Dublin, and continues with screenings of films including Silver Linings Playbook, gig performances from bands including Heathers and Come On Live Long, and discussions such as the Anti-Room panel chat on women and mental health in popular culture, which takes place at the Smock Alley Theatre on Jan 9. For more details about the line-up, go to [www.firstfortnight.ie](http://firstfortnight.ie/).

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**WATCH**

**American Hustle.** This David O Russell film looks set to be a major hit among the new releases of 2014 - we were turned away from a packed screening in Cineworld on New Year's Day and were lucky to squeeze into the nearby Lighthouse cinema in Smithfield to catch it later that evening. It's no surprise, when you consider the stars involved: Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper deliver whip-sharp performances in this 1970s-set tale of grubby chicanery. Bale is barely recognisable as Irving Rosenfeld, who is forced to work for a forceful FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Cooper), when he and his partner Sydney (Adams) get caught out on one of their schemes. DiMaso promises to let them avoid jail time if they simply help him expose some corrupt politicians, but the plot quickly gets stickier and more tangled. There are flaws in the delivery and pacing of the film - Russell occasionally creeps along where he should crescendo - but the performances are so good, and the scenes often so acerbically funny, that it hardly matters. Sidenote: many will be held riveted by Amy Adams' cleavage-exposing rig-outs - in virtually every scene she appears in, she has apparently forgotten half her outfit. **American Hustle** is in cinemas now.

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**CHECK OUT**

**Orla Gartland.** You might not know the name now, but 18-year-old singer-songwriter **Orla Gartland’s** star is firmly in the ascendant. Brought up in Drumcondra, **Gartland** is a striking talent, writing songs inspired by Regina Spektor and Joni Mitchell, and shot through with a mellow maturity that’s all her own. Having finished secondary school in June, **Gartland** already has over 18,000 followers on Twitter, and her songs have racked up over 10 million views on YouTube - of particular note is her beautiful cover of the song Royals by Lorde with Lauren Aquilina. **Gartland's** debut EP Roots was released recently to acclaim and she performs on The Saturday Night Show on RTE tomorrow night, in a line-up that includes Dr Eva Ormond who’ll be talking about moving on from Operation Transformation, new 2FM presenter Eoghan McDermott and Galway poet Rita Ann Higgins. The Saturday Night Show is on RTÉ One at 21.45 p.m.

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**WATCH**

**Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man.** For the thousands who have watched **Leonard Cohen** perform brilliantly in Ireland over the past few years, this television documentary on Sunday should prove a treat. Watch as the renowned singer-songwriter opens up about his profoundly elegant songwriting and his outlook on life. The documentary also features archival footage and photographs from Cohen's private collection. The documentary airs on TG4 on Sunday at 11.15 p.m.

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