Thursday, April 03, 2003

Today is a short workday for me, so once again, my report on the New York Times' coverage of the relief effort in Iraq will have to wait another day. Busy, busy, busy.

Last night I went to the latest, hilarious installment of John Hodgman's Little Gray Book Lectures. (Hodgman, for those of you who follow these things, used to be associated with the Dave Eggers brainchild McSweeney's.)

Last night's, number 18, was titled "What Will Happen in the Future?" and featured presentations by (quoting from Hodgman's e-mail) "Chuck Klosterman (author, Fargo Rock City and the forthcoming Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs) revealing the habits and practices of the psychics of the American Midwest; Brett Martin (expert in arcane facts and practices, also freelance magazine writer) demonstrating the divining powers of animals; Whitney Pastorek ( foreseeing the prospects of her own marriage as evidenced by apple stem tension; Paul Tough (editor/contributor,, The New York Times Magazine) providing a personal history of professional futurism; and Diane Vadino (reader and former writer of horoscopes) discussing her own experience in the craft of amateur astrology; with futuristic musical accompaniment by Jonathan Coulton, including notes of such unusual frequency that they may only be heard by highly evolved future-man and future-woman."

The Little Gray Book Lecture takes place the first Wednesday of every month at Galapagos, 70 North 6th Street, between Kent and Wythe, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

And the reason my workday today is so short is that tonight, at 6:00, I am attending a screening of Babi leto ("Autumn Spring"), directed by Vladimir Michalek, who happens to be a friend of mine. (I haven't yet figured out how to get Czech characters to appear correctly, so meanwhile I will do without.) The film is screening as part of the New Directors/New Films series, presented by the Department of Film and Media [whose department I don't know], the Museum of Modern Art, and the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

From the New Directors/New Films series site: "AUTUMN SPRING. A refreshingly positive and often hilarious perspective on aging about a pensioner who amuses himself by concocting elaborate practical jokes. The games backfire when his funeral savings are jeopardized and his wife of 44 years seeks a divorce. The three lead actors' combined 125 years of experience is affirmed by their sublime characterizations under Vladimir Michalek's assured direction. This delightful movie confronts society's stereotypes of the elderly with wry observations on marriage, friendship, and hypocrisy, gently persuading us how to live until we die. Czech Republic, 2002, 97 min. A First Look Pictures release."

As Hodgman would say, That is all.