Here’s my quick round-up of the celebratory free items and events and doings in celebration of H.P. Lovecraft’s 125th birthday, on 20th August 2015…
* I’ve made a large map of some Providence locations the living Lovecraft would have been familiar with…
High resolution version here (11Mb, 300dpi .JPG).
The map omits the Athenaeum — I can find very little evidence of his connection with it. It also omits the schools/YMCA and buildings/places variously said to have inspired his stories, except for “The Call of Cthulhu”‘s ‘Fleur-de-Lys’ building (hard to avoid as it’s alongside the Providence Art Club his aunt and other relatives were connected with). But the map does add cafes, of which he was so fond — one he is known to have frequented near the public library. The other is a general indication of the dock-front cafes for sailors and watermen, which he used at various times (possibly initially discovered at dawn after his early pre-NYC all-night walks?) because they were so cheap and served large portions.
* MalakiaLaGatta has a fine 125th Birthday poster…
* The Trunk Space has a night of Lovecraft performance art in Phoenix, AZ, tonight.
* Cambridge, Mass. has an “In the Mouth of Madness” Lovecraft film festival from the 20th – 24th August 2015, showing Lovecraft and Lovecraft-influenced movies on the big screen.
* There’s a big costumed H.P. Lovecraft Birthday Party in the East Village, New York City, with proceeds going help the homelessness in the city. Over in the West Village, NYC, there’s a The Weird West Village walking tour: H.P. Lovecraft Birthday Edition walk. The Lovecraft Bar in NYC is also hosting a party on the 21st August.
* The public library in Jacksonville, IL is holding its own Lovecraft Festival today.
* Buffalo, NY has a Love, Light & Magick evening of Lovecraft readings.
* There’s a “Celebrate H.P. Lovecraft’s 125th birthday at the Love Fest in Second Life“, Second Life being the well-known virtual world.
* South San Francisco Main Library has a “Happy Birthday, H.P. Lovecraft!” event this evening, 20th August from 5pm to 7pm… “Join us in celebrating H.P. Lovecraft’s birthday with board games, a film screening, and treats!” Sounds like it might be aimed at young teens?
* The book launch of Satanic Panic: Pop Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s — at the Carlton Cinema, Toronto, August 20th — will happen alongside “a screening of animated shorts that celebrates H.P. Lovecraft’s 125th birthday”.
* Willits Kinetic Carnivale is a big steampunk kinetika gathering based around the Mendocino County Museum in California. They’re certainly aware that the event co-incides with HPL’s birthday, but the extent of HPL art and costume theming may be limited — their art gets prepared and planned for months in advance.
* A superbly stinky and rare giant Corpse Flower is about to blossom in Denver, just in time for HPL’s birthday…
* Pasedena’s Mountain View Mausoleum is holding an October production of Lovecraft’s “The Unnamable” in October, and they’ve having a Birthday preview reading at the Huntington on 22nd August 2015. “Wicked Lit” at the Huntington in Pasedena starts 7pm, and also includes readings from the Scottish Victorian novelist Margaret Oliphant.
* And, of course, there are a variety of Birthday related events in Providence, based around NecronomiCon 2015. Including a new Lovecraft plaque/post sited at 454 Angell Street. Designed, created, and installed by Gage Prentiss, “with placement help by Donovan and Pam Loucks”.
There was also a Hiding Under The Covers Birthday event in Providence, but it was on the 19th. However, as this post is being published midnight on 19th/20th UK time, there might still be time to rush down there if you read this quick enough.
I guess one might also consider the cool appearance by a likeness of Lovecraft in a recent film by the great director Woody Allen (Annie Hall, Manhattan, Midnight in Paris) to be a sort of birthday present, as the movie is released about now…
“Woody Allen deployed [the Providence Athenaeum’s] bronze bust of Lovecraft while filming Irrational Man in the Athenaeum. He positioned the impossible-to-ignore, overlarge head right between the lead actors during a pivotal exchange. The goofy image did suggest irrationality of some sort.”
Although the new movie is “set in Newport” rather than Providence, it seems that a variety of New England locations were melanged into Allen’s vision of Newport. Which I suspect looks rather unlike Innsmouth when viewed through Allen’s lens (gosh, wouldn’t that be a film — “The Shadow over Innsmouth” as filmed by Woody Allen, in his Shadows and Fog mode).
Irrational Man is apparently a small-scale intimate summer story with a few Hitchcockian twists, and is premiering in cinemas/theaters about now. I don’t hold much store by movie reviewers after the dim-witted parroting reviews that destroyed Tomorrowland, but a quick glance at the Google Search snippets for Irrational Man reviews suggests the reviewers have had moderately good things to say.
* TIME magazine and the Wall Street Journal note Lovecraft’s birthday.
* Cake, apparently at an event at Calgary Public Library…