From there I went to the
George Eastman House
(900 East Ave.)
Visual Music: The Animation of
Most of it was at least interesting, and some downright fascinating. In his
(Walking From Munich to Berlin)
he snapped single frames of people and lanscapes on his film camera which then formed a natural animation of the whole trip — fascinating both in its documentation of 1927 Germany and in its fast-forward, point-of-interest-centric view of the journey.
was a silhouette film (I gathered that animating silhouettes was a common technique of the time) where the characters mutate unnaturally before your eyes. The techniques used here seemed to be recalled in one of his last films,
Motion Painting No. 1
in which (according to the title card) he filmed oil painting on sheets of glass, creating the illusion of a painting being constructed without a painter. It's really a fascinating work as the images transition from one style to another gradually by covering prior styles to obliteration. For
Ein Spiel in Farben
(A Play in Colors),
because abstract art was banned in Nazi Germany, it failed to pass the state censors, yet by resubmitting it unchanged as a demonstration of a new color film technique, it passed. All in all, it was a tremendously interesting presentation.
Later on I went to the
Saints and Sinners
burlesque show at
TiLT Nightclub and Ultralounge
(444 Central Ave.)
I thought this fell far short of my expectations — I have this idea that burlesque is somewhere between titilating and erotic, and that it has a high-brow contrast to it. (Just to prove I'm not nuts, or at least prove that I'm nuts in another way, I checked my
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language (1992, Houghton Mifflin; 1994, INSO Corporation)
and found that it says, "a literary or dramatic work that makes a subject appear ridiculous by treating it in an incongruous way, as by presenting a lofty subject with vulgarity or an inconsequential one with mock dignity.") This show was okay although it missed on both ends of the spectrum. I mean, it was a bit titilating, but disconcerting to watch actresses who weren't confident; and it touched a bit on "lofty subjects" but not-that-lofty. I guess I'm looking to have my prejudices and stereotypes turned inside out by, say, a couple sexy, scantily clad, women debating string theory.
On Saturday for lunch I stopped at the new
Saint Aubyn's House of Soups
(133 Gregory St., formerly M & J Deli)
I was particularly impressed by their cream of mushroom soup because it was made with big slices of mushroom tasted mostly like mushroom instead of like butter, cream, and salt with a little mushroom taste as I've had before. Someone I met didn't like it because it was thickened heavily with wheat, but I like wheat too. And heavily thickened soups. They are open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and are close enough to the bars near South and Gregory to take a trip there to grab something.
That night I went to the
Some Like It Hot.
It's a pretty hilarious movie about a couple male musicians trying to escape the Chicago mob after witnessing the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. They hide out by by dressing in drag and joining an all-girl band.
After that I stopped at
The Bug Jar
(219 Monroe Ave.)
for what I had predicted would be a great show. First was
Four Barrel Ghost"
who surprised me by doing some spectacular fast rock/rockabilly.
were next: a 3-girl-fronted band (with a guy drummer) who do tight-ass, lightning-fast rock-and-roll.
were next and rocked hard and briefly to fit
who didn't even get to start until around 2 a.m. and rocked the house one more time.
It was at this show that I realized that I really like loud music because I can't hear people's idle conversation — unlike at the movies, nobody can talk over a thousand-watt sound system.
Sunday evening I went to
(240 East Ave.)
CSA: The Confederate States of America.
I thought the movie was pretty good — a fictional documentary about the history of America from the time of our Civil War assuming the Confederacy had won and the guts of it was that slavery was never abolished. Logically, this led to things like the denial of women's suffrage (since the argument for the 17th Amendment was rooted in the 15th Amendment.) However I thought it illogical that the stock market would have crashed in 1929 — would the Industrial Revolution have been such a dramatic event if there had been a source of slave labor? Similarly, where the heck did John F. Kennedy come from in this alternate reality — wouldn't he have grown up with slaves like everyone else and become a completely different person?
Regardless, it does bring the state of racial equality in this country to the forefront of discussion. Although the commercial interludes seemed to be a distraction and an highlighted too strongly by the filmmakers, the contrast of a fictional TV show called "Runaway" (where they capture escaped blacks) to what is its identical twin, "Cops" (where they capture criminal suspects, and disproportinately more blacks relative to the population-at-large) was a good one.
Oh yeah, and the sound at the theater was very quiet, marring the presentation. I mean, it was barely as loud as a normal speaking voice, so every time somebody moved in the theater or coughed, you'd miss dialog. Strangely, there was also someone who appeared to be reading the text to someone else whose vision wasn't very good — although they were trying to be quiet, they were still louder than the movie.
After that I was once again at
The Bug Jar
(219 Monroe Ave.)
This time it was to see
who did a typically wild and chaotic set finishing with a great rendition of Louie, Louie.
were next and were kind of like a 1960's flavored power-pop band and not very interesting to me because it's such a familiar style.
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
(also at LiveJournal)
was still really good although I thought he was better without incorporating The Donkeys heavily in the set. Also, I got the impression he was trying to be an actor portraying the strong feelings he had for the songs in the past.
On Monday my old StarTac cell phone finally died for good. Well, it's not dead really — it's just that the top half doesn't work anymore. I took it apart and the little ribbon cable that connected the two halves tore. I tried fixing it by soldering the wires together, but they're spaced too close together: 6 wires are spaced across 2 millimeters (5/64") or about 75 wires per inch. I managed to get 2 connected but gave up after screwing up on the third. The funny part is that the phone still works — at least the bottom half does when it's plugged in, so I can still use it in my cradle at home and it'll still work in the car using a headset. It's only got to last through July and then I can cancel fucking Sprint, as that's when my 2 year contract is up.
That night I got the "tall bike" out of storage and headed to
(240 East Ave.)
Emerging Filmmakers Series.
I was sad to see that the much smaller theater was only partly full, meaning that about a quarter as many people showed up as did in January to see the same group of films but couldn't due to projection problems.
Three of the films were by
with the expectation that she could attend — she made it here in January but couldn't attend this screening.
was a poignant and somewhat amusing take on artists versus art collectors — an artist is selling one of his works to a snobbish collector but his daughter can't help but be drawn to touching the sensual lips-shaped couch.
dealt with an artist who's wrestling with trauma from his childhood. It utilizes some clever edits to create a disjoint universe out of the manic creative process.
was also very good: a polished short film about a couple at the end of a relationship — wherein the woman is forced to act to escape her disinterested and passive-aggressive boyfriend.
Real Men In a Locker Room
— a film shown as part of the
exhibition last year at
The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery
(137 East Ave.)
In their version, Werlin and Durand copied themselves in overlapping actions inside a locker room. They followed a similar technique as Rybczynski although instead of using film mattes, they disassembled the sequences into single-image frames and manually cut themselves out using Photoshop. The effect was pretty good, and as they noted in discussion afterward, they selected the locker room because it's an incubator for pure masculine expression even though they (like many men) are not particularly athletic.
was a funny piece about a guy who goes to get a reading from a psychic.
apparently gets together once in a while to create a spontaneous film. The idea is to bring a script ideas, flesh out a script, select locations, shoot scenes, edit, and complete a whole short film in a weekend. It was started in Hollywood (I think) by film-industry people who were waiting for their next job and wanted to stay in practice. I hope to get involved with them to gain some real-world experience in the medium.
On Tuesday I went with a friend of mine to try out the
House of Sushi
Golden Port Dim Sum
(105 East Ave.)
Neither one of us though it was very good — certainly not artful sushi but just fish-and-rice (the rice, by the way, was rather al dente which further detracted from the experience.) We decided to do an A-B test so we went right over to
California Rollin' at Village Gate Square
(274 N. Goodman St.)
While their "sushi" also wasn't artful, it was slightly fresher, slightly better, and the atmosphere was so much more casual and welcoming.
That night I again took the tall bike to
Christ Church of Rochester
(141 East Ave.)
Ossia New Music
perform three pieces. First up was
The first part felt like an orator making an empassioned speech. The second was unbridled ranting. Both were quite good.
String Quartet No.2
was next. In it, three violins and a cello created whispering, stringed-voice demons growing to a more audible discussion. In the middle of the piece, a bat flew around the church for a few minutes then returned to its perch behind one of the columns, possibly drawn by the hissing strings.
Lady Chatterley's Dream
featured snippets of speech taken from
Lady Chatterly's Lover
utlizing a spectrum of stringed instruments to punctuate a selected retelling in poetic brevity.
From there I went to
The Bug Jar
(219 Monroe Ave.)
once again. First up this night was
who played in his simple, melodic synth-and-vocal style. I have to appreciate his ability to hide behind nothing: no tricks, band, or vocal effects. Unfortunately it was only me and another loyal fan snapping digital pictures to enjoy the whole set. Next was
who are a solidly good, very loud, fat, full, and fast bar-rock band — well-worn territory but at least they do it well. Finishing up the night was
who pulled out his giant inflatable penis and did a raunchy bisexual (but mostly-gay) sex-themed hip-hop performance. It was absurdly spectacular.
Needless to say, I fell behind getting the website put together and didn't end up doing much of anything on Wednesday night. Well, at least as far as getting out to a show or anything. I do what I can to let my vicarious readers down.