It's hard to get away with successful satire in a supercharged, hyperpolitical atmosphere. Remember, for example, the depressed state of comedy in the early years of the war in Iraq. So imagine how difficult it must have been to produce successful humor during World War II. You can see some of the best lampooning for yourself at the free screening of Hail the Conquering Hero tonight at 6:30 at the Central Branch of the Kansas City Public Library (14 West 10th Street). The film, written and directed by cinematic pioneer Preston Sturges (pictured), tells the story of a young man rejected by the Marines. He hides out in a shipyard while filling his family's heads with tales of battlefield heroism. Given Sturges' mastery of satire, the story has predictably hilarious results. For more information on this free event, call 816-701-3400.
Mon., Aug. 25, 6:30 p.m., 2008