To Do List: HELLO!'s pick of events and new releases

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Would you be able to survive on Mars? Matt Damon stars as an astronaut left for dead on the red planet, in the new Ridley Scott-directed thriller The Martian. The film is a must see for fans of the Hollywood actor and the British producer, while Jessica Chastain also plays a strong supporting role.

It's a good week for movie buffs as the London Film Festival also returns this week from 7 to 18 October. Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp and Cate Blanchett are among the stars jetting in for the filmathon.

Read on for this week's new releases and events...

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FILM

The Martian

Matt Damon stars as astronaut Mark Watney, left behind on Mars, presumed dead by all back on Earth. Like a space–age Robinson Crusoe, he has to use his science know-how and ingenuity to survive.

This marks a welcome return to form from director Ridley Scott who adapts Andy Weir's best-seller with uncharacteristic humour. With stunning Mars landscapes, a killer disco soundtrack, and the endearing all round good-guyness of Matt Damon, this is a must see for all Damon and Scott fans.

Good supporting roles with Jessica Chastain as the commander who feels responsible for leaving Watney behind, a craggy Sean Bean as the Mars mission leader, and the ever watchable Jeff Daniels as Director of NASA, trying to bring "the Martian" home.

Nationwide

FOOD AND DRINK

Asia de Cuba's Bottomless Brunch

Having reopened its doors in April of this year, Asia de Cuba in central London is offering a new fusion three-course brunch complete with a choice of bottomless cocktails or champagne. The unique Chino-Latino menu includes dishes such as breakfast tortilla with chorizo, eggs and spicy black beans, a Cuban Benedict with BBQ pulled pork and chipotlaise sauce. Unlimited Mexican Doughnuts with a choice of caramel or Thai chilli-chocolate dip rounds off the mouth-watering feast. The bottomless brunch launches on Saturday and will be on offer every weekend from 12 to 4pm. Alongside brunch, Cuban roasts will also be available for those seeking a less breakfast-based option.

To book a table see asiadecuba.com/london.

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EVENT

London Film Festival

The red carpet will be rolled out again from 7 to 18 October for the annual London Film Festival. Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Cate Blanchett and Michael Fassbender will be among the stars jetting into the English capital for this year's filmathon, which has been dubbed by festival director Claire Stewart as "the year of the strong woman". Highlights include historical drama Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan, and The Lady in the Van featuring national treasure Dame Maggie Smith. Much of the action will take place in Leicester Square, and branch out to local cinemas across the city. Talks, workshops, short films and masterclasses are also on offer.

Visit bfi.org.uk./lff for more details.

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EXHIBITION

Ai Weiwei

Chinese contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei, who is famously critical of his country's stance on democracy and human rights, returns to the UK with a new exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Some of his most famous works from the time he returned to China from the US in 1993 right up to present day can be explored in both the galleries and the courtyard. Large-scale installations and works made from marble and steel to tea and glass are on display in this bold exhibition that is a comment on creative freedom. The exhibition runs until 13 December.

To book tickets see royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/ai-weiwei.

BOOK

In Order To Live

At just 21-years-old, Yeonmi Park is a leading spokesperson for human rights around the world. A North Korean defector, Yeonmi managed to escape across the Gobi desert with her family when she was a teenager. She had grown up thinking it was normal to see dead bodies on your walk to school, for neighbours to disappear without warning, and for the "Dear Leader" to read his people's thoughts and punish them accordingly. In her autobiography, Yeonmi describes her struggle to survive in the darkest, most repressive country on earth, only to fall into the hands of human traffickers in China.

Penguin, £18.99.

THEATRE

Balletboyz

For six nights only the Sadler's Wells theatre in London will be graced with the presence of the Balletboyz. The group of ten young male and two female dancers will take to the stage to perform a poignant piece of dance theatre, drawing on images of conflict through time for their inspiration. Choreographed by rising star Ivan Perez and featuring an original score from Keaton Henson, played live on stage by 14 musicians, this is a show you won't want to miss. Dates available from 5 to 10 October.

To book tickets visit sadlerswells.com/whats-on/2015/young-men-balletboyz/.

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