Life in a Day, Wednesday at 7:15 p.m., at Cornell Cinema, Willard Straight Hall: The Washington Post called Life in a Day “without exaggeration, a profound achievement” after it debuted last year at Sundance. Looking at the format and scale of the movie, one cannot help but marvel at the innovation behind and the sheer number of participants involved in the film. Life in a Day is synthesized from the best of 8,000 video submissions in response to Youtube’s experimental project calling people to record what transpires in their life over a 24 hour period. The Cornell Cinema screening this Wednesday will also include a guest-appearance by Mike Solomon ’00, the co-creator of Youtube and the architect of Yelp and Paypal. — Charley Du
The Complete History of America (Abridged) by the Reduced Shakespeare Company at the State Theatre, Saturday at 8 p.m.: The witty alternative to the other R.S.C. takes viewers on a hysterical and historical ride through American history this weekend. Just in time for the 2012 U.S. Presidential Elections, the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s Complete History covers an incredibly wide range of crucial political developments, from the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street, that might just prove influential when you cast your ballot. How many Democrats does it take to screw in a light bulb? The answer to this question, among others, will be revealed at Saturday’s show when the Reduced Shakespeare Company. takes a stab at writing political history. — Daveen Koh
Jonathan Franzen, Thursday November 1 at 7:30 p.m., at Sage Chapel; tickets available Monday October 1 from 9 a.m.: The prolific novelist and frequent New Yorker contributor Jonathan Franzen has been the recipient of nearly every literary award a writer could dream of. The Fulbright scholar’s best-selling 2001 effort, The Corrections, earned him the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the National Book Award and a considerable amount of controversy. Franzen allegedly suggested that Oprah Winfrey’s selection of his novel for her book club dissuaded men from reading the work, leading Winfrey to cancel his appearance on her show. The philosophical Franzen, who regularly documents quiet lives, most recently published Farther Away, a collection of essays that deals with such eclectic topics as bird-watching and his friendship with the brilliant David Foster Wallace.
Thursday’s event is presented by Barbara and David Zalaznick Reading series, part of Cornell’s Creative Writing program. Tickets, limited at two per person, are free and available from 9 a.m. today at the Willard Straight Box Office, Willard Straight Hall. — Daveen Koh