Kenneth Lonergan + Jim Holt
"If they had seen what we see, they would have judged as we judge." -- Galileo Galilei
The playwright and the philosopher explore the known and the unknown universe.
About the Speakers
Kenneth Lonergan drew attention at New York's Naked Angels theater company with his acerbic and insightful comedy-drama This is Our Youth in 1996. He earned his first screen credit as one of writers on the Robert De Niro-Billy Crystal hit comedy Analyze This (1999) followed by the low-key, but impactful family drama You Can Count on Me (2000). The film went on to earn widespread acclaim and helped launch the film career of longtime Lonergan friend and collaborator, Mark Ruffalo. Further stage works like 2000's The Waverly Gallery and script contributions to Martin Scorsese's sweeping Gangs of New York (2002) solidified the consensus that he was indeed an artist to watch. And then, nothing, until his sophomore feature film effort - filmed in 2005 - Margaret (2011) was given a limited release six years later, due to a bitter dispute between the writer-director and the studio over the movie's running time. While not the most prolific filmmaker of his generation, audiences could always count on a thought-provoking look at the lives of identifiable characters in any Lonergan. Like his most recent cinematic effort, Medieval Play was simultaneously praised for its intelligence and called into question over its creator's inability to pare it down to a more easily digestible length.
Jim Holt is a longtime contributor to The New Yorker—where he has written on string theory, time, infinity, numbers, and truth, and bullshit, among other subjects—and the author of Stop Me If You’ve Heard This: A History and Philosophy of Jokes. He is also a frequent contributor to The New York Times.