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  • Harvardwood Heads To... The Enigmatist feat. David Kwong AB '02

    Friday, January 04, 2019 at 07:00 PM through January 26, 2019 · $85.00 USD
    The High Line Hotel in New York, NY

    Renowned magician and New York Times crossword constructor David Kwong AB '02 invites you to step into the mysterious, historic world of the Riverbank Estate, the “cradle of cryptology,” reimagined at The High Line Hotel’s gothic Hoffman Hall. Guests will experience mind-bending illusions, and solve entertaining riddles and puzzles. The Enigmatist will blur reality and fiction—and leave you in awe of Kwong’s secret talents.

    What’s Riverbank? It was a real-life bizarre and fantastical estate, established in 1908 by eccentric multi-millionaire George Fabyan, where he and cohorts William and Elisebeth Friedman pioneered the science of cryptology. This team went on to lead the American military’s code-breaking efforts in World War I and II, and eventually form the foundation for the NSA.

    Shows will be Fridays and Saturday nights throughout January 2019.


    David Kwong is a magician and cruciverbalist (crossword constructor) who mixes puzzles and prestidigitation. Kwong was the head magic consultant on the worldwide hit film Now You See Me and is the secret code consultant for NBC’s Blindspot. A TED Talk favorite, Kwong recently published Spellbound: Seven Principles of Illusion (HarperCollins), which breaks down the neuroscience of how your brain is fooled.

  • Harvardwood Presents: Nadine Strossen on HATE SPEECH, with Penelope Andrews

    Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 06:30 PM · $15.00 USD
    Seyfarth Shaw LLP in New York, NY

    Most of us, at one time or another, have heard horrific hate speech and have felt, "This should be illegal!" But should it? In her new book HATE: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship, Nadine Strossen, President of the ACLU from 1991 to 2008, argues that the strongest way to defeat hate speech is, paradoxically, to permit it. She also points out that any restriction of hate speech will inevitably also restrict artistic expression, especially comedy and satire.

    Hate_Cover.jpgAttend this talk between Strossen and Penelope Andrews, outgoing Dean of the law school at the University of Capetown in South Africa, where hate speech is very illegal. Their conversation will be moderated by Harvardwood member Richard Loebl. 

    The event begins at 6:30 with a reception with wine and nice stuff to nibble; the discussion will start promptly at 7 pm. Nadine Strossen's book will be available for purchase, and a booksigning will follow the event.

    1.0 hours of CLE credit (Areas of Professional Practice) for New York attorneys will be available to attendees through a sign-in sheet at the event.

    Advance registration is REQUIRED—no tickets will be sold at the door. The cost is $5 for dues-paying Members of Harvardwood (and their guests); $15 for all others.

    Strossen_Nadine.jpgNadine Strossen was President of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1991 to 2008.  Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and David Souter all participated in her ACLU farewell tribute.  She is the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law at New York Law School and continues to serve on the National Advisory Council of the ACLU.  She is a graduate of Harvard.


    Penelope Andrews will join Nadine Strossen in this conversation.  Penelope Andrews grew up in South Africa under apartheid, and is now in her final year as Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Capetown in South Africa.  She is the President-elect of the Law and Society Association, and in January she will join the faculty of New York Law School.  She was formerly President and Professor of Law at Albany Law School. 


    Richard Loebl is a Senior Counsel at Seyfarth Shaw LLP and is a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel.

    Nadine Strossen's book has been enthusiastically praised by people with widely differing political viewpoints:

    "Nadine Strossen is one of the great civil libertarians of our day.  This book provides a powerful and subtle defense of free speech" - Dr Cornel West

    "Nadine Strossen makes these arguments better than anyone" - Jonathan Marks, Wall Street Journal

    "Nadine is one of America's most important defenders of liberal values and free speech" - David Boaz, Executive Vice President, Cato Institute

    "This is an original, insightful, and compelling analysis, both timely and enduring, that has academic, constitutional, and international importance" - Robert Zimmer, President of the University of Chicago

    Special thanks to Seyfarth Shaw LLP, and to Andy Goodwin and the Plymouth Hill Foundation.

    Members, Register Here

    Purchase tickets   $5.00 Members & Friends

    If you can't access the RSVP button for dues-paying Harvardwood members, make 
    sure you're logged in. If you still have issues accessing the page, your membership 
    has lapsed, so renew your dues as a Full Member or Friend of Harvardwood.

  • For the 2019 MLK National Day of Service, Harvardwood Helps attends the 10th Anniversary community blood drive at Cedars-Sinai.

    Did you know that ONLY 3% of eligible donors in Los Angeles give blood regularly, the lowest rate of any major US city? And that January is National Blood Donor Month because the holidays and winter colds lead to severe blood shortages? And that Cedars-Sinai has the plushest donor room you've ever seen with comfy lounge chairs and doting nurses?

    As a token of appreciation and in honor of National Blood Donor Month, each donor will receive:

     +One movie ticket (AMC or Laemmle) OR Gift Card (Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf or In-N-Out Burger)

     +One free blood donor t-shirt!

    For more information about donating, read this Things to Know Before You Donate and this Eligibility Guidelines (which also includes great info about how to get your iron up!).

    Prior to your donation, be sure to eat and drink extra water, and remember to bring your photo ID!

    Directions/Parking (Click for Map):

    Cedars is just west of La Cienega, between 3rd Street and Beverly Blvd. Blood Donor Center is in Room 1690, on the street level of the South Tower at 8700 Alden Dr. (same as 8700 Gracie Allen Dr.)

    Park in any CSMC lot (P1-P6 & P9) to be validated. Parking NOT validated for Medical Office Towers on 3rd Street (and it's expensive, so don't park there!).


  • Sundance 2019: Late Night (Premieres)

    Friday, January 25, 2019 at 06:30 PM through February 03, 2019

    Late Night is an upcoming comedy film, directed by Nisha Ganatra, from a screenplay by Mindy Kaling. It stars Emma Thompson, Kaling, John Lithgow AB '67, Ar.D. '05., Hugh Dancy, Reid Scott, and Paul Walter Hauser. It will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2019.

    Late Night centers on a late-night talk show host (Thompson) who is at risk of losing her long-running show right when she hires her first female writer (Kaling), who revitalizes her show and her life. 

    Details about each screening can be found here.

  • Harvardwood Heads To... The Ivy Plus Society's Night at Mama Lion

    Friday, January 25, 2019 at 07:00 PM · $25.00 USD
    Mama Lion Koreatown in Los Angeles, CA

    You'll have a roaring good time when you join The Ivy Plus Society at Mama Lion this January. Centrally located in the Wilshire Center – Koreatown area, Mama Lion is a widely acclaimed restaurant, bar and lounge serving as one of the city’s premiere cultural destinations for dining, entertainment and nightlife. A venue where food, drinks, music and art intersect to satisfy all of your senses. Meet us in our private section to mingle with the finest and brightest in LA and to enjoy some insatiable drink specials exclusive for our members.

    Attire: Casual Cocktail 

    • Attire: Cocktail Attire
    • Must be 21+ with valid I.D.
    • 20% Off Promo Code: 2019ALUMNI
  • Sundance 2019: The Last Black Man in San Francisco (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

    Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 12:15 PM through February 03, 2019

    Jimmie Fails has one hope in life: to reclaim the majestic Victorian house his grandfather built. Every week, Jimmie and his only friend, Montgomery, make a pilgrimage across San Francisco to Jimmie’s dream home and imagine what life would be like if this neighborhood had never changed. When they realize the house’s current owners have moved out, Jimmie decides to recreate the home his family once had. As he struggles to reconnect with his family and reconstruct the community he longs for, Jimmie’s domestic aspirations blind him to reality.


    Director/co-writer/composer Joe Talbot makes an astonishing feature debut, transfiguring one man’s intimate despair into a timely story that questions who has a rightful claim to a city’s identity. Inspired by the real-life story of Jimmie Fails, who co-wrote the film and plays a fictionalized version of himself, The Last Black Man in San Francisco elegantly engages with a loss of cross-cultural connection as one individual seeks belonging in the new incarnation of his hometown.

    Produced by Khaliah Neal, Joe Talbot, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner AB '98, and Christina Oh

    Sundance screening details here.

  • Slamdance 2019: Crystal Swan (Narrative Feature)

    Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 12:45 PM through January 30, 2019

    Crystal Swan, the debut feature from Belarusian director Darya Zhuk AB '02, will have its joint North American premiere at Slamdance and Santa Barbara International Film Festivals. The film is competing as a part of Slamdance Narrative feature competition and will screen on January 26th and January 30th. Set in 1996, the film is an evocative exploration of young Belarus and its fascination with Western ideals of freedom—told through an aspiring DJ in pursuit of her own American dream.

    Darya’s debut is considered a breakthrough for the country as the first Belarusian feature film to screen at a top international festival since 2004, and its first submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 22 years. The Belarusian film industry is small and largely unsupported by the government, making it incredibly difficult to produce independent features.

    Crystal Swan had its world premiere at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in June 2018, where it was nominated for the East of West Award, and the film has since gone on to win the Grand Prix at Tbilisi, Odessa and Almaty International Film Festivals, the Russian Film Critics Award for Best Film, and Best Co-Production at the Window To Europe, Vyborg.

    In the film’s earlier stages, Crystal Swan was selected to participate in international work-in-progress sessions during Tribeca Film Festival, Cottbus International Film Festival, POFF Black Nights in Tallinn, and Vilnius International Film Festival. It won the best International work-in-progress at Tallinn’s Black Nights.

    Slamdance Festival Screenings:

    • Sat, 1/26, 12:45pm, Ballroom
    • Wed, 1/30, 3:15pm, Gallery

    Watch the trailer!

    About the Director

    Belarus-born award-winning film director Darya Zhuk unexpectedly discovered filmmaking while studying Economics at Harvard. Her short films have premiered at Independent film festivals such as SXSW, Tarkovsky, Oaxaca, Atlanta, Palm Springs, Koroche, and Santa Fe. She is a graduate of Columbia University MFA program in New York City. Darya lives and creates between Minsk and Brooklyn. Crystal Swan is her feature debut.

  • Sundance 2019: The Great Hack (Documentary Premieres)

    Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 05:45 PM through February 03, 2019

    Have you ever filled out an online survey? Do you wonder why you receive ads for products that you happened to research the day before? Be afraid. Be very afraid. Data has surpassed oil as the world’s most valuable asset, and it is being weaponized to wage cultural and political wars. We’re in a battle for control over our most intimate personal details. The Great Hack uncovers the dark world of data exploitation through the compelling personal journeys of players on different sides of the explosive Cambridge Analytica/Facebook data breach that rocked the world.

    Screenshot_2018-12-26_at_6.59.29_PM.pngAcademy Award nominees Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim AB '96 (The Square, Control Room, Startup.com) return to the Sundance Film Festival with this deeply layered, ethically complex, disturbing and riveting documentary. The Great Hack compels us to question the genesis of the information we consume daily and challenges us to think about what we give up when we tap that phone or keyboard and share ourselves in the digital age.

    Jehane Noujaim is an Academy Award–nominated director and one of two nonfiction directors to win the Directors Guild of America Award twice. Her Academy Award–nominated film, The Square (2013), won the World Cinema Documentary Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and at the Toronto International Film Festival. Noujaim’s work has also been nominated for awards by the International Documentary Association and Film Independent Spirit.

    Karim Amer is an Academy Award–nominated filmmaker, best known for producing the documentary The Square(Al midan), which was nominated for an Academy Award and received three Emmy Awards. Amer also teamed up with Angelina Jolie and Jehane Noujaim to executive produce the Academy Award–nominated animated feature, The Breadwinner in 2017.

    Screening details here.

  • Attend the Out of the Dark launch party and Dash Vodka tasting with author Gregg Hurwitz AB '95 in Santa Monica!

    About the Book

    When darkness closes in—he’s your last, best hope. Evan Smoak returns in Gregg Hurwitz’s #1 international bestselling Orphan X series.

    Someone at the very highest level of government has been trying to eliminate every trace of the Orphan Program by killing all the remaining Orphans and their trainers. After Evan’s mentor and the only father he ever knew was killed, he decided to strike back. His target is the man who started the Program and who is now the most heavily guarded person in the world: the President of the United States.hurwitz.png

    But President Bennett knows that Orphan X is after him and, using weapons of his own, he’s decided to counter-attack. Bennett activates the one man who has the skills and experience to track down and take out Orphan X—the first recruit of the Program, Orphan A.

    With Evan devoting all his skills, resources, and intelligence to find a way through the layers of security that surround the President, suddenly he also has to protect himself against the deadliest of opponents. It’s Orphan vs. Orphan with the future of the country—even the world—on the line.

    Available 1.29.19!

  • So you've gotten staffed. Congratulations! But now, how do you stick the landing? TV writer, producer, and showrunner Michael Narducci AB '97 (The OriginalsThe Vampire DiariesMedium) talks about what to expect and how to handle your first eight weeks as a staff writer. The masterclass will begin with a brief summary of breaking into the business, before buckling down on what is expected of staff writers on both a returning show and a first-season show.

    Masterclasses are only open to dues-current Harvardwood Full Members, and advance registration below is required. You must be logged in to the site to access the RSVP link below. Join or renew your membership.

    Michael Narducci AB '97
    Writer, Producer, & Showrunner (The OriginalsThe Crossing)

    Michael-Narducci.jpgMichael Narducci is a writer and a producer at ABC Studios. Currently in development on his original series WARRIORS, he most recently worked as a Co-EP on ABC's THE CROSSING.  Prior to that, he was the Showrunner of THE ORIGINALS for Warner Brothers TV.  He's also written on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, MEDIUM, THE 4400, and WATERFRONT.  

    Michael was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio. He attended Harvard University where he lettered in football and graduated magna cum laude in psychology. He went on to receive his MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Virginia; short stories from his graduate thesis have appeared in The Texas Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and Gadfly magazine. He taught creative writing at The Idyllwild Arts Academy for seven years and has also taught writing in Boston, Charlottesville, South Central Los Angeles, and South Korea. 

    Past jobs include pizza maker, librarian, nightclub bouncer, prison researcher, and dean of students. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Los Angeles.

    LATE POLICY: Those who arrive over 15 minutes past the event's listed starting time will not be admitted. THIS EVENT WILL BEGIN PROMPTLY AT 7:30PM.

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