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Things to Do, Nov. 2-9, 2018

Agnès Varda’s 1977 ode to female friendship, “One Sings, The Other Doesn’t,” screens Nov. 7 and 9 in Willard Straight Theatre.

Foreign films

Cornell Cinema features classic and contemporary foreign films throughout the year, with several this week including Robert Bresson’s “Diary of a Country Priest” (1950) in 35mm, Nov. 4 at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $5.50.

Agnès Varda’s 1977 ode to female friendship, “One Sings, The Other Doesn’t,” screens Nov. 7 and 9; while “Dede” (Nov. 2-3), “St. Laurent” (Nov. 4) and “The Cakemaker” (Nov. 8 and 10) represent some of the best of current world cinema.

Also showing: Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” in 3D, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m., as part of the Ithakid Film Festival; and Hayao Miyazaki’s “My Neighbor Totoro” in Japanese, Nov. 8, and in English, Nov. 10-11.

Saving falcons

More than a million Amur falcons congregate each autumn in Nagaland, a state in remote northeastern India, pausing on their 9,000-mile migration from Asia to southern Africa.

No one in the outside world knew of this gathering until 2012, or that local villagers were killing hundreds of thousands of the birds for food. Conservation efforts since have been successful, while raising questions about what happens when a poor community does the right but difficult thing.

Author and researcher Scott Weidensaul discusses his 2017 expedition to Nagaland, and the future of the birds, in “A Galaxy of Falcons,” a free Monday Night Seminar series talk Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca.

The talk will be streamed live. For more information, email

Simmons in “The Trump Card”

Godfrey L. Simmons Jr., senior lecturer in the Department of Performing and Media Arts, will perform Mike Daisey’s monologue “The Trump Card” on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections, Monday, Nov. 5, at 8 p.m. at the Kitchen Theatre, 417 W. State St., Ithaca.

Doors open at 7 p.m., with a cash bar and live music. Tickets are $20, available online at Brown Paper Tickets. Proceeds from the one-night-only performance will benefit WRFI Community Radio.

Godfrey L. Simmons Jr.

Written in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election and adapted by Simmons and dramaturg Ron Russell, “The Trump Card” is an edgy, funny and provocative exploration of Donald Trump’s life story, influences and ascent to political power. The monologue analyzes the former reality television star as a performer rather than as a politician. Critical of Democrats and Republicans alike, it is an examination of our current political moment and a call for self-reflection for Americans of every stripe.

Simmons is artistic director of Civic Ensemble and is appearing through Nov. 4 in New York City in the off-Broadway hit “The Winning Side,” James Wallert’s new play based on the story of rocket scientist Wernher von Braun.

Is it the shoes?

Hip-hop legend, basketball and sneaker culture icon Bobbito García will show his autobiographical documentary, “Rock Rubber 45s,” Nov. 6 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Africana Studies and Research Center.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with García. The event is cosponsored by the Cornell Hip Hop Collection.

The film explores the connectivity of global basketball, sneaker and music lifestyle through García’s firsthand lens. He also is an author, DJ, media personality, educator and activist who serves on the Kennedy Center’s Hip Hop Culture Council.

“Rock Rubber 45s” features appearances by actors Rosie Perez and Michael Rapaport, and music and basketball stars including: Stevie Wonder, Questlove (The Roots), Patti LaBelle, Chuck D, Scottie Pippen, Spike Lee, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Maxwell, Louie Vega, Raekwon, Talib Kweli, Crazy Legs (Richard Colón), DJ and Big Red basketball alumnus Rich Medina ’92, and many others.

Challenge authority

Jill Frank, professor of government, presents her recent book “Poetic Justice: Rereading Plato’s ‘Republic’” at a Chats in the Stacks book talk, Nov. 7 at 4:30 p.m. in 107 Olin Library. The talk is free and open to the public; books will be available for purchase and signing.

Frank will discuss the insights to be gained from appreciating Plato’s dialogues as written texts, challenging the conventional interpretation that the “Republic” endorses a top-down dissemination of knowledge. She posits instead that it prompts citizen-readers to challenge all claims to authority, even by philosophers. Frank also is the author of “A Democracy of Distinction” (2005).

Creative writing alumni reading

Four alumni of Cornell’s Creative Writing Program will read from their work Nov. 8 at 4:30 p.m. in Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium, Klarman Hall. The 2018 Philip Freund Prize Alumni Reading is free and open to the public.

Books by the authors will be available for purchase from Buffalo Street Books. A free catered reception and book signing will follow in the English Department Lounge, 258 Goldwin Smith Hall.

The writers, all recipients of the Philip Freund Prize in Creative Writing, are: Catherine Chung, M.F.A. ’06, fiction editor at Guernica magazine and the author of “Forgotten Country”; Ezra Dan Feldman, M.F.A. ’08, M.A. ’15, Ph.D. ’17, the author of “Habitat of Stones,” winner of the Patricia Bibby First Book Award; Sara Eliza Johnson ’06, author of “Bone Map,” a 2013 National Poetry Series award winner; and Sarah Scoles, M.F.A. ’10, author of “Making Contact: Jill Tarter and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence,” contributing reporter at WIRED and a contributing editor at Popular Science.

Philip Freund ’29, M.A. ’32, was a novelist, short-story writer, poet, documentary film writer, playwright, television dramatist, essayist and literary critic. The Philip Freund Prize for Creative Writing honors graduates upon successful publication. 

American Sign Language interpretation will be provided at the reading. The auditorium is wheelchair accessible and equipped with assistive listening technology. For more information or additional accommodations, email or call 607-255-7847.

Stateless citizens

Photographer Manuel Gil and his brother, Óscar Gil-García, assistant professor of human development at Binghamton University, will give a presentation on their exhibit, “From Stateless to Citizen: Indigenous Guatemalan Refugees in Mexico,” Friday, Nov. 9, at noon in the Latina/o Studies Program conference room, 429 Rockefeller Hall. The event is free and lunch is provided.

The exhibit, on display in Latina/o Studies through the 2018-19 academic year, features portraits and stories of indigenous Mayans who for more than 30 years have remained stateless in Chiapas, Mexico. Portraits of 26 stateless subjects and of their families help show the paradox of having familial ties – as Mexican-born citizen nationals – and the ongoing denial of legal status in their host society.

Media Contact

Gillian Smith