Agenda Newsletter - May 16, 2007

Madman German filmmaker screens, speaks
Werner Herzog

Comedy mastermind goes online
Derek and Simon the Show
  You may remember Bob Odenkirk from such programs as Mr. Show and The Ben Stiller Show. The sketch-comedy mastermind’s latest gig is a similarly named and painfully hilarious series of shorts, Derek and Simon the Show, that focuses on two bumbling would-be Lotharios—nebbishy, nerdy Simon and every-guy Derek—as they navigate the dating world with little success. (Misinterpreted baby talk, drama-club character-acting, and, of course, Holocaust films all factor into the mix.) The full-length videos premiere on today. Bob Odenkirk
 »           No One Belongs Here More Than You
By Miranda July
This book’s site

(Non)Fiction; Film Forum; Showtimes vary; May 18–June 7
Taking a break from his legendary exploits, which include lugging a steamboat over a mountaintop in the Amazon, eating his shoe, and doing time in a Saharan prison, German filmmaker Werner Herzog will kick off this phenomenal three-week retrospective of his documentary work (and other films he handpicked) with appearances on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Expect more than just movie chat—the last time we saw him, Herzog discussed Wrestlemania, pornography, and Anna Nicole Smith.

set the Web ablaze. Win a copy, and find out what all the hype’s about! Take a chance now See recent Agenda winners        

Get immersed in a freaky Oscar winner
Pan’s Labyrinth   Fairy tales are meant to be told and retold. Conveniently enough, you can now watch this one over and over on DVD. But put the kids to bed first: David Edelstein called the movie (which won three Oscars) “shockingly brutal.” In director Guillermo del Toro’s universe, “political outrage and realistic violence mingle with stop-motion creatures whose hambone voices evoke decades of el cheapo Mexican vampire movies.” The outrage is great, but we love Mexican vampire movies. Picturehouse
Review  »
Buy it  »      

Discover the new Michael Chabon
The Ministry of Special Cases   Is there room in one month for two inventive literary mysteries built around a distant, mythical Jewish underworld? Michael Chabon’s new book is the one getting all the (well-deserved) hype, but this funny-sad novel stands on its own. The story of the Poznan family, whose son goes missing during Argentina’s “Dirty War,” wears its heavy themes (remembrance, heritage, resistance to tyranny) just lightly enough to let the story and characters come through as vividly as any Chabon creation. By Nathan Englander
Buy it  »      

Hear Schwarzenegger-inspired poetry
Charles Bernstein
  How can you not love a poet who, inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger, named his latest collection Girly Men? Bernstein—also an essayist, librettist, translator, founder of the Language school of poetry, and bona fide literary institution—has emerged over the past decade as a partisan with little patience for the posturing of our political leaders and the sanctimonious language of our social lives. And he’s funny! Sample: “This is a totally / accessible poem.” With Tracie Morris
The Poetry Project at St. Marks Church
8 p.m.
More info  »      

Give them a highbrow summer
HiArt! Summer Camps   Now’s your last chance to instill culture in your children. We exaggerate, but only a little—these highbrow, 3-and-up mini-camps are filling up fast. You can still get into the Midsummer Night’s Dream program, where kids will create everything from Shakespearean manga to Puck-like earthworks, and the six-session, retro-themed music-video workshop, which focuses on psychedelic animations pegged to the Whitney’s “Summer of Love” megashow. Teach them to tie their shoelaces next summer. June 19–
August 30
Prices vary
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May 16, 2007

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Agenda Newsletter - May 16, 2007