Tuesday, August 29, 2006

2006 New Yorker Festival: Color me disappointed or color me badd

If you're like me, nothing gets you excited for fall in New York City like the New Yorker Festival. Every year, New Yorker gets out its manilla envelopes full of writers, directors and musicians in compromising positions and get them to appear for one fabulous weekend of cultural elitism and free alcohol courtesy of sponsors.

But I'm looking at the lineup and I can't say I'm impressed. I remember a couple of years ago, having to choose between Salman Rushdie and Dave Eggers. Last year, I immediately went out and got tickets for Jeffrey Eugenides, killed myself for skipping out on Rza/Ric Ocasek/Ani DiFranco, and chose The Roots and Malcolm Gladwell over Rick Gervais.

This year? Meh. Maybe I should care about Jonathan Safran Foer or Zadie Smith? The names that are jumping out at me are Pedro Almodóvar on Saturday afternoon, and Jhumpa Lahiri and Ed Norton on Saturday morning. There's no writer that's really wowing me.

There's Jon Stewart, a cruise around Manhattan and a eating tour of Downtown but they're all a little too rich for my broke ass.

Although, there is the screening of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan which may very well be worth the price of admission.

Anyhoo, the complete 2006 New Yorker Festival lineup is after the jump. Maybe I'm missing something - please feel free to point me to an event that deserves my money.

Now, crap in bullet points:
  • The Quiet: Wow. Wow wow wow wow. Wowie wow wow. Thighs has this movie covered, but shit, it will blow your mind. All I can say is that I'm buying, not renting, the fucking DVD when it comes out and I will pull it out at the most opportune moment. Holy fucking shit.

  • Incredibly looking forward to Science of Sleep (trailer). But let's be honest here, I'll watch anything directed by Michel Gondry. Shit, I'll watch an instructional video if Gondry's behind the camera. For reals. The only thing that could possibly hold me back is the indietasticness of the trailer - I know the ladies love the Death Cab, but shit, Ben Gibbard makes me want to give myself a hug.

  • Also excited about Stranger Than Fiction (trailer). As much as I love Will Ferrell in frat pack comedies, I think he can be even better in quirky comedies. Plus it's always great to see Maggie Gyllenhaal not do a 9/11 flick.

  • And you know what? Marie Antoinette (trailer) is going to be awesome. Trust the Coppolla. If nothing else, seeing Jason Schwartzman in tights, Steve Coogan doing his thing and the New Wave soundtrack will be worth the $10.25.

  • Volver (trailer)? Well, it is Almodovar. Though I'm still kinda recovering from Bad Education.

  • New Portishead? Pretty please. Yeah, I realize the songs aren't complete and they've been around, but still, is there anyone who attended college in the late 90s and didn't have really intense, brooding sex to Portishead?

  • Our uptown Orchard St neighbors reminisce over The Avalanches. 3 years from now, if The Avalanches' Since I Left You doesn't show up in top album lists compiled by bloggers or the 2009 equivalent thereof, that means:
    a) The bloggers (or the 2009 equivalent thereof) are compete idiots
    b) Music will be incredible for the rest of the decade, because nothing in the past 5 years has topped Since I Left You
    c) Sufjan completes his 50 States project really fast.

  • Finally, a medley of videos from the Roots:

    It's not Illadelph Halflife, but hey, this isn't half bad.

  • (New Yorker Festival event listings)

    2006 New Yorker Festival lineup:


    An evening of paired readings by writers whose stories have appeared in The New Yorker; a New Yorker Town Hall Meeting on Islam and the West; and a New Yorker dance party.

    Monica Ali and Aleksandar Hemon
    7 P.M. Ailey Citigroup Theatre ($16)

    Donald Antrim and Tobias Wolff
    7 P.M. Cedar Lake Dance Studios ($16)

    Yiyun Li and Edwidge Danticat
    7 P.M. Bowery Poetry Club ($16)

    Lorrie Moore and Julian Barnes
    7 P.M. Newspace ($16)

    Antonya Nelson and Thomas McGuane
    7 P.M. Anthology Film Archives ($16)

    Uwem Akpan and Louise Erdrich
    9:30 P.M. Bowery Poetry Club ($16)

    Charles D’Ambrosio and Sherman Alexie
    9:30 P.M. Anthology Film Archives ($16)

    Andrea Lee and T. Coraghessan Boyle
    9:30 P.M. Cedar Lake Dance Studios ($16)

    Jonathan Safran Foer and Edward P. Jones
    9:30 P.M. Newspace ($16)

    Gary Shteyngart and George Saunders
    9:30 P.M. Ailey Citigroup Theatre ($16)

    Join the internationally renowned d.j. Michael Mayer and The New Yorker’s Sasha Frere-Jones for a night of minimal techno and house music.
    10 P.M. to 2 A.M. T New York ($20)
    (Please note: You must be 21 to be admitted to this event.)

    Moderated by New Yorker staff writer George Packer. Panelists, to be announced, will include political figures, scholars, writers, and Muslim leaders.
    7 P.M. Town Hall ($10)


    A day of interviews, panel discussions, and New Yorker Talks, a new series; a poetry reading with John Ashbery; an About Town lunch prepared by Mario Batali.


    Manolo Blahnik and Michael Specter
    1 P.M. Supper Club ($25)

    The Honorable Stephen Breyer and Jeffrey Toobin
    4 P.M. Celeste Bartos Forum
    The New York Public Library ($25)

    A poetry reading by John Ashbery
    4 P.M. Florence Gould Hall
    French Institute Alliance Française ($25)


    Roz Chast interviewed by Steve Martin
    10 A.M. Supper Club ($25)

    Calvin Trillin interviewed by Mark Singer
    10 A.M. Celeste Bartos Forum
    The New York Public Library ($25)

    Garry Kasparov interviewed by David Remnick
    1 P.M. 37 Arts ($25)

    Tom Stoppard interviewed by John Lahr
    1 P.M. Directors Guild of America ($25)

    Pedro Almodóvar interviewed by David Denby
    4 P.M. Directors Guild of America ($25)


    Oliver Sacks
    Revisiting “Awakenings”
    10 A.M. Florence Gould Hall
    French Institute Alliance Française ($25)

    Anthony Lane
    This Is Not Acting: Ava Gardner and the Mysteries of Stardom
    1 P.M. 37 Arts ($25)


    Global Warming
    With James Hansen, Martin Hoffert, Robert Socolow, and Timothy E. Wirth. Elizabeth Kolbert, moderator.
    10 A.M. 37 Arts ($25)

    Midterm Elections
    With Barney Frank and Dana Rohrabacher. Hendrik Hertzberg, moderator.
    10 A.M. 37 Arts ($25)

    Fiction Into Film
    With Michael Cunningham, Jhumpa Lahiri, Mira Nair, Edward Norton, Sarah Polley, and Liev Schreiber. Deborah Treisman, moderator.
    10 A.M. Directors Guild of America ($25)

    Winning the War on Terror
    With Bradford Berenson, Deborah Pearlstein, Michael Scheuer, and Ali Soufan. Jane Mayer, moderator.
    1 P.M. Celeste Bartos Forum
    The New York Public Library ($25)

    TV, Movies, and the Mob
    With Lorraine Bracco, Paul Haggis, Harold Ramis, Gerald Shargel, and Frank Vincent. Jeffrey Goldberg, moderator.
    1 P.M. Florence Gould Hall
    French Institute Alliance Française ($25)

    Fake News
    With Andy Borowitz, Scott Dikkers, and Ben Karlin. Nick Paumgarten, moderator.
    4 P.M. 37 Arts ($25)

    Medical Breakthroughs: The Next Frontier
    With J. Michael Bishop, Daniel Callahan, Eric Kandel, and Eric Topol. Atul Gawande, moderator.
    4 P.M. 37 Arts ($25)


    What You Can Do with Boiling Water
    Mario Batali
    talks with Bill Buford
    Mario Batali will discuss making, cooking, and serving pasta with Bill Buford as the two of them make lunch. Their dishes will be served with a selection of Italian wines.
    1 P.M. Italian Wine Merchants ($125)

    Early and Late Shift events, many of them featuring live musical performance, throughout the city. There will also be an evening New Yorker Talk, with Lawrence Wright, and a sneak preview of the feature film “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”


    Steve Coogan talks with George Saunders
    7:30 P.M. Cedar Lake Dance Studios ($35)

    Milos Forman talks with David Denby
    7:30 P.M. Directors Guild of America ($35)

    PJ Harvey talks with Hilton Als:
    A Conversation with Music
    7:30 P.M. Supper Club ($35)
    (Please note: You must be 21 to be admitted to this event.)

    Liev Schreiber talks with John Lahr
    7:30 P.M. Newspace ($35)


    Lawrence Wright
    “My Trip to Al-Qaeda”
    8:30 P.M. 37 Arts ($25)


    Composers on the Edge
    Mason Bates, Corey Dargel, Nico Muhly, and Joanna Newsom talk with Alex Ross:
    A Conversation with Music
    10 P.M. BargeMusic ($35)

    The New Pornographers talk with James Surowiecki:
    A Conversation with Music
    10 P.M. Newspace ($35)

    Randy Newman talks with Susan Morrison:
    A Conversation with Music
    10 P.M. Supper Club ($35)
    (Please note: You must be 21 to be admitted to this event.)

    Gustavo Santaolalla talks with Jon Lee Anderson:
    A Conversation with Music
    10 P.M. Cedar Lake Dance Studios ($35)

    Saturday Night Sneak Preview
    “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”
    10 P.M. Directors Guild of America ($15)

    A free screening of “Barry Lyndon,” with an accompanying talk by Simon Schama; a day of About Town excursions and events throughout the city; a benefit interview with Jon Stewart; talks by New Yorker writers; and a series of Master Classes.


    Cruising Manhattan: An architectural boat tour with Paul Goldberger
    Paul Goldberger
    discusses the architecture of Manhattan on a chartered ferry ride around the island. Brunch will be served.
    10:30 A.M. Lexington Classic Cruiser
    New York Skyports Marina ($75)

    Sunday Matinée with Simon Schama
    A screening of the 1975 film “Barry Lyndon,” directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Ryan O’Neal in an adaptation of the William Makepeace Thackeray novel about the rise and fall of an Irish rake among the eighteenth-century British aristocracy. A discussion with Simon Schama will follow.
    11 A.M. Directors Guild of America (Free event; first come, first seated.)

    To the Ends of the Earth: An explorers’ brunch
    Bruce Beehler, Constanza Ceruti, Reinhold Messner, and Bruce Robison will talk with David Grann about modern-day exploration. Brunch will be served.
    1 P.M. Explorers Club ($75)

    My Life in Three Courses
    Nora Ephron talks with Ken Auletta

    Nora Ephron cooks three dishes, each representing a distinct phase in her life, while Ken Auletta helps out in the kitchen. Snacks and drinks will be provided.
    1 P.M. Culinary Loft ($75)

    Inside the House of Zac
    Zac Posen talks with Judith Thurman
    In his atelier, Zac Posen will discuss the creation of his new collection—from concept to manufacture, from the runway to the boulevard.
    1 P.M. The meeting place will be indicated on the tickets. ($75)

    Come Hungry
    Calvin Trillin
    leads his sixth annual gastronomic walking tour of downtown, sharing his favorite eateries and culminating in a dim-sum banquet in Chinatown.
    1 P.M. The starting point will be indicated on the tickets. ($100)


    Jon Stewart talks with David Remnick
    4 P.M. Directors Guild of America ($50)
    All ticket proceeds will go to the Committee to Protect Journalists and the U.S.O.


    Mohammed Nasseehu Ali
    Blinding the Seer: Our Love/Hate Relationship with Prophets
    10 A.M. 37 Arts ($25)

    Malcolm Gladwell
    The Case Against Secrets
    1 P.M. 37 Arts ($25)

    Zadie Smith
    Fail Better
    4 P.M. 37 Arts ($25)

    Seminars for people with advanced interest in the topic.

    Master Class in Editing
    With Roger Angell, Dorothy Wickenden, and Daniel Zalewski.
    10 A.M. Condé Nast Auditorium ($25)

    Master Class in Criticism
    With Hilton Als and Anthony Lane.
    1 P.M. Condé Nast Auditorium ($25)

    Master Class in Cartooning
    With Matthew Diffee and Edward Koren.
    4 P.M. Condé Nast Auditorium ($25)

    Following is a schedule of Saturday and Sunday free book signings at Festival Headquarters. Schedule subject to change.


    11 A.M.
    T. Coraghessan Boyle — “Talk Talk”
    Edward P. Jones — “All Aunt Hagar’s Children: Stories”

    12 NOON
    Andy Borowitz — “The Republican Playbook”
    Matthew Diffee (editor) — “The Rejection Collection:
    Cartoons You Never Saw, and Never Will See, in The New Yorker”
    Featuring: Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Danny Shanahan, David Sipress, Barbara Smaller, Gahan Wilson, and Jack Ziegler

    1 P.M.
    Elizabeth Kolbert — “Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change”

    2 P.M.
    Thomas McGuane — “Gallatin Canyon: Stories”
    Antonya Nelson — “Some Fun: Stories and a Novella”

    3 P.M.
    Julian Barnes — “Arthur & George”
    Andrea Lee — “Lost Hearts in Italy: A Novel”

    4 P.M.
    Jeffrey Goldberg — “Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide”

    David Remnick — “Reporting: Writings from The New Yorker”


    11 A.M.
    Calvin Trillin — “A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme”

    12 NOON
    Monica Ali — “Alentejo Blue: Fiction”
    Gary Shteyngart — “Absurdistan: A Novel”

    1 P.M.
    Roz Chast — “Theories of Everything: Selected, Collected, and Health-Inspected Cartoons by Roz Chast, 1978-2006”

    2 P.M.
    Lawrence Wright — “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11”

    3 P.M.
    Donald Antrim — “The Afterlife: A Memoir”
    George Saunders — “In Persuasion Nation: Stories”

    4 P.M.
    Bill Buford — “Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany”
    Nora Ephron — “I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman”

    << Home