Weekly Rochester Events #434: Michelangelo, Goodbye
Thursday, May 3, 2007
I guess people like exposition, so let's get right to it.
Last Thursday I headed out to Brighton Town Hall (2300 Elmwood Ave.) to see 9/11 Press for Truth. I had my doubts — I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 and I've heard a lot of 9/11 conspiracy theories, far too many of which deny the World Trade Center collapsed from the impact of jet planes. However, 9/11 Press for Truth barely touches on that and instead focuses on the events leading up to and after September 11, 2001. The movie centers around The Complete 911 Timeline, a research project started by Paul Thompson that is summarized in his book The Terror Timeline: Year by Year, Day by Day, Minute by Minute: A Comprehensive Chronicle of the Road to 9/11—and America's Response as well as the work of the Jersey Girls, Kristen Breitweiser, Patty Casazza, Lorie Van Auken,and Mindy Kleinberg. The movie basically condemns the Bush Administration as liars, the Clinton Administration and other past administrations as inadequately proactive, and the press as being completely useless — all with the harsh light of reason and logic.
Basically, the Jersey Girls — each the widow of a man killed in the World Trade Center — were disappointed by the response of the United States and, through investigating the same trails, eventually met and joined forces. They were instrumental in getting the 9/11 Commission to investigate the attacks, although disappointed to find its report failed to answer most of their own questions. In 2002, Paul Thompson was puzzled by media reports and started working on The Complete 911 Timeline in which he collected information from the mainstream press and organized it chronologically. The results are startling at how much information was available to the public — much less those with access to confidential United States intelligence — in the years prior to 2001.
Too bad nothing will come of it.
Anyway, on Friday I headed to The Image City Photography Gallery (722 University Ave.) to check out the new show there. I liked Doug McFarland's clean images more than his son Kevin Dean McFarland's digital works. After that I walked to The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) Filmmaker David Waingarten was on hand to introduce his films. First was Post, a short film about a woman recounting her experience as a little girl who loses her best friend to a kidnapper. Next was his feature film (his first) called Addison's Wall.
At first I found I liked it because it was a good, open-ended film although I thought the acting was sometimes a bit weak. But as I pondered some more, it grew on me a bit. It has a dreamlike despair — something akin to the movie version of The Sweet Hereafter and to Jacob's Ladder. In the film, a quick bit of exposition establishes that a mother and her son, Addison have moved to another town because the father had killed himself. Addison stopped speaking, and his mother feels this is his way of coping although both use different unhealthy versions of isolation. The vacancy in their lives is reflected in Waingarten's use of wide open spaces — including the large house they've moved into. Dialog is sparse (as one might imagine) and the hole in the soundtrack is filled with a careful selection of ambient noises.
Saturday night I stopped by The Community Darkroom at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) but found the opening for The Pinhole Photography Invitational had ended just as I arrived. I decided instead to go to Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) They had two bands: the first was Trees Are Down who were louder than I expected for a coffee shop — I guess that's what Boulder is looking for. I thought they did a good, heavy rock, similar to J. G. Blizaro who followed them.
I met up with Ali later and we went to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) We arrived a little late but managed to catch most of The Lobster Quadrille In fact, I walked in at just about the same time as I'm Going to Make a Drug With My Mind was shooting video for this YouTube clip. Check it out if you'd like to know if my assessment of them as an excellent gospel satire band is accurate — it starts out with guitarist and lead-singer Solomon disproving evolution with peanut butter, monkeys, and bananas. Next was Uncle Scratch's Gospel Revival who also do satirical gospel, but with a much more violent punk bent. It was awesome — throwing rubber snakes, wrestling matches between the guitarist and drummer (the only two performers), and even a smashed glass bottle. The drummer's kit was made of a cardboard-tube kick-drum and some other seriously abused parts, but the band sounded really good. Finishing up was Ghostharm ... we couldn't figure out how they got on the bill, especially as the headliners ... they were just a hard-hitting, loud punk-rock band — good but they just didn't fit.
Sunday Ali and I had volunteered to help maintain a water-and-snacks table for The March of Dimes walk in Canandaigua. A couple people who were supposed to be walking showed up early and said they were going to skip it — I continue to feel this is pretty dishonest. I mean, if I were to donate money for you to walk, the least you can do is to actually walk. Nonetheless, we got to see most of the 200-or-so walkers and finished up around noon.
That afternoon we headed to our fancy brunch associated with our anniversary two weeks ago. We went to Mario's Italian Steakhouse (2740 Monroe Ave., formerly Mario's Via Abruzzi). It was excellent. We spent a couple hours there grazing over the stellar brunch spread — which actually included mimosas as well. It's certainly not the kind of place you'd waste on a hangover morning.
That afternoon we went for a walk. We checked out the abandoned housing on The Rochester Psychiatric Center (1111 Elmwood Ave.) former campus (the expanded part to the south ... you know, these buildings). We found a couple of the houses on Staff Rd. off Knab Troutman Rd. to be open but they were clearly posted "no trespassing". I was actually surprised that we were not harassed by security as they are notoriously efficient. We also took a close look at the abandoned Terrance Building (Elmwood Ave. at Azalea Rd.) before heading back home.
On Monday I headed to The Little (240 East Ave.) for The Emerging Filmmakers Series. This month there were only 3 films — each longer than average for the series, and all made by Rochester filmmakers. First was Marq the Autologist by Ali Vatansever which was pretty funny — it started out as a documentary about a guy in a parking garage that was trying to "scientifically" make a correlation between cars and drivers, but as the film goes on, it turns into a narrative about a couple dodgy filmmakers exploiting this guy. Aloha Motel by Johannes Bockwoldt was quite good — three friends get together a while after a friend's suicide and "find a way to mourn almost in spite of themselves" (as the description on the information sheet aptly explained.) Finally, Chipper's in Rehab by Kelly Yoho was a funny film about a guy whose friends hold an intervention because he's become a hack screenwriter (one who writes Hollywood movies for money.) He ends up going to a "home" where he's "cured" and goes back to making no money on artistic films and plays.
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About the title ... Painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was born 434 years ago in 1573 which was also the year when the word "goodbye" (albeit in the form "godbwye") was first recorded.
This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do.
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