Pue’s Recommendations for April

Juliana Adelman I first encountered Hitchcock when I started babysitting: I watched Dial M for Murder in terror on the couch after the children went to sleep.  During April, the IFI are showing a selection of Hitchcock’s best including Psycho, North by Northwest and Notorious.  RTE recently aired the first of a new series of documentaries called Arts Lives.  Their first subject was the crime writer, John Connolly.  If this is anything to go by, the series will be better than any similar style programme I have ever seen on RTE.  You can still watch the first episode on the RTE Player until April 13th.

Lisa-Marie Griffith The most important event for the history community, and one which will determine research for future generations of historians, takes places this month and requires the attendance of as many people as possible. The Archives in Crisis: a symposium to Debate the Future of Archives in Irish Society will take place Saturday 10 April in Trinity College Dublin’s Robert Emmett Theatre between 3 and 5. In an effort to draw attention to the plans to merge the National Archives of Ireland and the National Library of Ireland, this is the community’s attempt to debate the effect this will have on history writing and humanities in Ireland. Speakers include Fintan O’Toole, Catriona Crowe and Eunan O’Halpin and will be followed by an open forum moderated by Professor Diarmaid Ferriter. Those who can’t attend the event or who would like to show their support for the symposium can join the Facebook group ‘Action on archives’. On a totally different note, I have been reading a little about world mythology so I really enjoyed visiting ‘Telling Images of China, Narrative and Figure Paintings, 15th-20th Century, from the Shanghai Museum’ the exhibition currently running at the Chester Beatty Library and which features images from Chinese folklore, religion, history and culture. This exhibition runs until 2 May 2010.

Christina Morin Easter is upon us, and with it, some much needed time off, which, for me, often means reading some of the many books on my ever-growing list of must-reads. Quite a few of these are actually relevant to my research but manage to get shelved for months, even years, at a time, while I concentrate on other things. This constant deferral of reading is a frustrating experience, especially when it involves novels I know I’m going to love but which I just don’t have time to read. That’s why I’m so excited about reading two new editions of all too frequently overlooked Irish fiction: Vertue Rewarded ; or, the Irish Princess (anon.; 1693) and Sarah Butler’s, Irish Tales (1716). Not only have they just been published (Four Courts Press), but the attractive new volumes offer a perfect excuse to drop everything and read fiction that I’ve been meaning to read or re-read for ages right away! They’re part of the Early Irish Fiction project directed by Ian Campbell Ross, Aileen Douglas, and Moyra Haslett, and should be one of the more erudite endeavours of my Easter week (the other main one being to eat my body weight in Mini Eggs). As soon as I’ve read the editions, I’ll be sure to review them here at Pue’s! To recover from my chocolate overload, I might hop on my bike for a cycle along the Lagan Towpath and on down to Belfast’s Titanic Quarter to take in the Titanic: Made in Belfast Festival running from April 3rd to 11th. And then, perhaps, I’ll head over to the Queen’s Film Theatre for one of the films in the 10th Annual Belfast Film Festival, which runs from 15th-30th April and has a great programme of films, workshops, and events planned. Roll on, Easter!

Kevin O’Sullivan At a party in a friend’s house a few years ago, I overheard a group of three well-travelled twenty-something Dubliners in conversation about Paris’s Musée d’Orsay and its collection of the great impressionist works. (I know – what a party). ‘They’re like art’s greatest hits’, said one. ‘Even if people know nothing about painting, they all come out to see.’ The words returned to me while browsing the National Gallery’s new exhibition in Dublin a few weeks ago. If Monet, Manet, Degas et al are Abba, do we have a U2, a Thin Lizzy or even a Joe Dolan? The best of the gallery’s acquisitions of the last ten years, there’s some great art and great history here – see, from just one era, O’Kelly’s Dublin, Osborne’s Brittany, Lavery’s wherever, and Orpen’s portrait of McCormack. Free and well worth a look if you’re at a loose end in the big smoke before 25 July. Oh, and in case anyone’s wondering, I am still listening to San Patricio, the new Ry Cooder record with the Chieftains and it’s still as interesting as it was when I gushed about it here a few weeks ago; Irish history by mariachi, with added uileann pipes.

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