WHAT TO SEE
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
British actor Mr Idris Elba takes on the enormous task of portraying former South African president Mr Nelson Mandela in this eagerly awaited adaptation of his bestselling 1994 autobiography, which, given his recent health demise, few people thought he would live to see. But thankfully he has, and hopefully he'll feel that director Mr Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) has done him proud, tracing his story from tearaway adolescence to political engagement in the face of apartheid, marriage to Ms Winnie Mandela (Ms Naomie Harris) and his long imprisonment on Robben Island before his eventual release and ascension to the presidency of South Africa. A remarkable life, justly celebrated.
Out on 29 November in the US and 3 January in the UK
WHAT TO HEAR
You Were Right by Brendan Benson
Mr Brendan Benson is one of music's great collaborators: as well as being a current member of The Raconteurs (alongside Mr Jack White) and previous bands The Stiff Tissues and The Well Fed Boys, he has also worked on bluegrass recordings with tousled country singer Ms Ashley Monroe and created the fictional twosome Well & Goode. His latest release sees him striking out on his own, though true to form he will celebrate with buddies including Mr Willy Mason and the aforementioned Mr White at a special gig at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on 18 December. Though the mainstream release is in two weeks, a limited-edition vinyl is available tomorrow for Record Store Day's Black Friday.
Out on 29 November. brendanbenson.com
WHAT TO READ
Stuffocation by James Wallman
Mr James Wallman is an author and journalist who writes for The New York Times. However, in a parallel life, he delves into the murky world of trend prediction: what we'll want and when. The insight he has gained working independently and at The Future Laboratory has led him to his first pun-tastically titled nonfiction book, which examines the materialistic impulses that increasingly rule us all. With roving reporting across the world, he looks at those who are seeking new ways to relate to their "things" - including a multimillionaire who lives in a Manhattan shoebox (but in SoHo, mind).
Out on 1 December
WHAT TO CLICK
Search "rare James Dean screen test" on YouTube
Given that Mr James Dean's image is still everywhere - on teenage girls' T-shirts and hopeful students' walls - it's amazing how refreshing and moving this screen test is. It's black and white, silent and less than one minute long, and shows Mr Dean and the actress Ms Lois Smith doing some convincing canoodling in anticipation of their future roles in Mr Elia Kazan's 1955 masterpiece East of Eden. Mr Dean simmers and smiles with heartbreaking natural charisma - and somewhat unexpectedly, reminds us of a skinnier Mr Channing Tatum - but Ms Smith, who is still working today (she appeared in the first series of True Blood), is also winningly wide-eyed and magnetic.
WHAT TO ATTEND
Ditch the down-filled jackets and celebrate the arrival of summertime to the southern hemisphere at this multi-date festival taking place in Perth and Sydney this weekend, followed by Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne on the next. The featured acts are mostly of the stadium-shuddering variety, and headliners include Scottish DJ and producer Mr Calvin Harris, French DJ and producer Mr David Guetta and er, Dutch DJ and producer Mr Armin van Buuren, alongside London grime wunderkind Labrinth and psychedelic Aussie day-trippers Empire Of The Sun. Remember though, it's not an overnight festival, so no camping out/ passing out beneath the South Star, however tempted you may be.
From 30 November to 8 December, various cities across Australia. stereosonic.com.au
WHAT TO WATCH
Sport in America: Our Defining Stories
It has always been a curious fact about the US that given its global influence in matters of culture, economics and politics, its sports have not been so widely exported. This documentary series keeps it on home turf as Americans recall what great sporting moments have meant to them. Potential participants were invited to submit videos to the Sport In America website to be put to a popular vote; last time we checked, Mr Dave Blackburn of California, a former softball pitcher and amputee following a serious car crash, and his celebration of softball pitching troupe The King And His Court was far in the lead. Let's hope he goes all the way.
Airs tonight on HBO