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Friday, May 12th, 2006

Time Event
Tribeca Friday - That's a Wrap
I was constantly changing my original schedule of movies, and this last day was no exception. A woman on line had told me her daughter HATED something on my list and she supposedly likes pretty much anything, while someone else said they loved "Choking Man." So I decided on "Al Franken: God Spoke" and "Choking Man" (both in Lincoln Center).

The Al Franken documentary was OK and amusing enough, though I wasn't sure why this material needed to be in a documentary. I did see Al's wife Franni (onscreen, not in person) for the first time, and there were even some statistical jokes. It's not often I get to use statistics to appreciate a joke. The Q&A was going to be with the directors instead of Al (who had been at some earlier showings), and I needed to get to the next movie, so I left. I had once seen Al Franken in person, doing his comedy act at Caroline's with Tom Davis (with A., in fact).

The next movie was "Choking Man," a dark tale of a shy immigrant working in a Queens diner. It was sometimes painful to watch and there was an air of tension and dread and things were not always as they seemed. Interesting, though a little unsettling. The director and star (who indeed can talk) did the Q&A.

No more audience ballots; they are being totaled for the awards.

Final tally: 11 movies + 1 free "Wordplay" showing which doesn't count, so $13.64/movie which is about even as tickets cost $12 + $1 service charge on the Internet. The pass would have been a better value had I not slept through a few movies, but it was worth it not to have to wait on "door sales" lines and especially not to be bound to any particular films.
Saturday in the Street, and the rest of the week
Now that the Tribeca festival was over (well, it was going on all weekend, but I wasn't planning to buy additional tickets after my pass ran out), I buckled down to work. At-home grading took top priority and I started sending back puzzles. Almost no one is completing puzzle 5 (hardly a surprise), and they aren't doing so well on puzzles 2, 3 or 7 either.

Will IM'ed me about the Tribeca Family Festival street fair, where IFC had a "Wordplay" booth at Greenwich and Harrison. He was not able to go, but I decided to stop by. By now it was mid-afternoon, so I got dressed and headed down, running into Noam while transferring trains. The street fair was crowded, and I couldn't find any sign of "Wordplay" in the designated place. An information booth was not helpful, but I finally found a media sign-in area which said we were at Jay Street. I had already been there but tried again, and finally found a table surrounded by large puzzle boards across the street from where I originally looked.

The IFC people knew who I was (though I didn't recognize most of them), and sat me down behind the table. They were giving out buttons, posters (which I signed), postcards and puzzle books (Nucky's NYT Teens and one of Helene's kids' books). There was active traffic of people solving the large puzzles, and many families with kids. I helped a few kids with easy puzzles, and it was good to watch their "ahas" and pass this on to another generation.

Josh from ex-work lives across the street, and came by with his girlfriend. It turned out an IFC guy knew him, as they both went to college at Bard. That school turns out interesting, creative people. We closed up at 6, having given away almost everything except some buttons. I took home a bag.

After that, back to the non-film festival routine. Work. Sleep. Eating. Errands.

One more "Wordplay" event - a screening Monday for NYT entertainment advertisers. Will and his intern were also there. It turned out to be the Sundance cut. I find I prefer the Tribeca cut - faster moving and better graphics. The audience didn't go wild, but maybe I'm spoiled by some of the more enthusiastic receptions. Will did the Q&A himself, and pointed out me and Jon (who showed up at the end) in the audience. Afterward there was a reception, and I mingled slightly. A guy from the ad agency said he'd see about getting rid of the wrinkles in my dress in the poster, but I'm not sure it's possible. I'm the only one who notices it.

I've been reading again. I finished "The JAP Chronicles" (really liked it, though it was a tad dark for chick lit), and am back plowing through "Primary Colors." I also started "Easy Street," the true story of the daughter of a Jewish mob guy. The author, Susan Berman, was murdered under mysterious circumstances in 2000, which is the subject of another book on my wish list.
Do you know who I am????
So I was Googling again, and found this from someone who was at the Tribeca family festival street fair Saturday:

"But i did happen to go to the family film festival and they gave out some free stuff at stations. So i ended up getting:

...word play movie poster signed by ellen ripstein, whoever that is.
crosswords for teens booklet. and maybe some more stuff. all for free! yay."


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