Brooks Barnes has written a 3.5 N.Y. Times article about the party-circuit stress that has affected Hurt Locker producer-screenwriter Mark Boal over the last several months. It’s especially interesting to me in that it provides a roundabout explanation why Boal subtly flipped me the bird when I took his picture at a Manhattan Hurt Locker party on 2.23.

It wasn’t a hostile flip-off. It wasn’t even a stand-up gesture but one semi-camouflaged by a book cover. If a smart guy you know, like and respect gives you the finger, he’s (a) fooling around and (b) offering a kind of trust that you won’t interpret it the wrong way. But I do think Boal was saying, perhaps in a subconscious way, “I’m starting to really tire of all this Oscar-contention chit-chat crap, and this is my way of quietly conveying that to you and…what the hell, your readers also.”