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Friday, February 9th, 2007

Time Event
12:12a
Lots of movies
"The Dead Girl" - interrelated vignettes relating to one dead girl, played by Brittany Murphy. Dark and depressing.

"Infamous" - the other Truman Capote movie. I didn't see the first one, but this seemed to evoke the era and characters well. The scenes with the murderers and reenacting the crime were grim, but I liked when he was with Harper Lee (Sandra Bullock) or back in NYC gossiping with his ladies.

"Man Push Cart" - when I was working full-time, I often got a bagel or muffin from the guy in the cart stationed outside. I never thought about that guy's day-to-day life, but Ramin Bahrani did and created this movie. Very New Yorky portrait of a Pakistani vendor toiling away. The director/writer/producer/editor (Bahrani) and the star spoke afterward.

"Twelve and Holding" - bittersweet film about suburban kids coping with a tragedy. Well done.

"For Your Consideration" - this spoof of Hollywood and Oscar buzz didn't get great reviews, but I really liked it. The familiar faces of the Christopher Guest crew are all here.

"12:08 East of Bucharest" - small-town Romanian TV talk show host puts together a panel to discuss events of 1989. Eh.

"My Country My Country" - the Iraqi elections from the perspective of a doctor and his family, as they cope with violence, power outages and general upheaval in their everyday lives.

"Days of Glory" - Algerian soldiers fight for France in WWII. The war scenes reminded me a lot of "Saving Private Ryan." Relentlessly violent.

"Conversations with Other Women" - Aaron Eckhart and Helene Bonham-Carter flirt at a wedding, but all is not what it seems. Very talky. Shot in a split-screen format. The writer/director/producer (3 different people) spoke afterward, and their tales of shoestring indie life reminded me that we were very fortunate with "Wordplay."

"Wristcutters: A Love Story" - a suicide lands in a strange afterlife with other suicides. Seemed goofy at first, but then turned darker.
12:49a
Not movies
With all the movies I've been seeing as well as work (I do work once in a while), I haven't finished many books lately. Except for (both nonfiction):

"Girl, Interrupted" by Susanna Kaysen. The writer lands in a mental hospital in the '60s. I never got into these people's stories. Maybe the movie is more involving.

"Between Marriage and Divorce: A Woman's Diary" by Susan Braudy. The author's marriage to her high school sweetheart falls apart as she faces challenges in her magazine-writing career. This 1975 book captures Upper West Side life of the time. I wondered what the husband would think reading details of the author's infidelity (he was not a saint either).

I finally sent out invoices going back to November.

My bar mitzvah boy nephew Jeffrey was in New York from Thursday-Sunday last week on a school drama class trip. The 30 kids and 5 teachers had a jam-packed schedule of shows, tours, workshops and meals. My sister gave me the itinerary and I figured I'd pop in at some point.

I waited in the lobby of Bubba Gump's on Friday, and soon a swarm of kids entered. "Aunt Ellen!??" said Jeffrey, not knowing I had his schedule. I recognized one of the girls from the bar mitzvah. I followed the group upstairs but did not eat with them, as I was headed to a movie screening. Also, their meals were pre-ordered and I didn't want to intrude.

The next day after seeing "Man Push Cart" I headed again to Times Square and met the group as "Tarzan" let out. The kids got autographs from 2 of the actors and the teachers then led them south. This seemed strange since I thought they were staying at the Hilton. They were, but there's a Hilton in Times Square I'd never noticed, as well as the one on 6th Ave. Good thing I didn't come by the hotel, since it would have been the wrong Hilton.

I went up to the messy room Jeffrey was sharing with 2 other boys (there was supposed to be a 4th but he got sick at the last minute). I went to use their bathroom, and the toilet paper was running low. Opening the closet door to see if there was more paper so they wouldn't run out, I found his roommate changing clothes. Oops! He was already dressed, but still. Can't take Auntie En anywhere.

We went back down where the group gathered in the lobby to walk to dinner and then see "Wicked." It was very cold and the teachers checked that these Miami kids were dressed warmly and gave them Chapstick. Jeffy told me one girl asked him who was that weird lady who seemed to be stalking him, but he explained it was only his aunt. I said I may be a weird lady, but I'm HIS weird lady. I walked up to Mars 2112 with the class, and then headed home.

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