Weekly Rochester Events #516 Starting Thursday, November 27, 2008

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Watching The Exiles with Ali at the Dryden
by Jason Olshefsky at 5:00 pm (1 comment)

Ali and I went to the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see The Exiles. The description given in the Eastman House calendar was tantalizing, as the film has almost never been screened for 50 years, and it documents Native Americans living in Los Angeles in the 1960's. Sprinkle in phrases like, "seamlessly mixes documentary and narrative techniques" and "deeply emotional and personal achievement", and I'm sold.

Our reaction to the film, however, was one of grand disappointment. It's an arduous film to watch full of interchangeably unlikeable, apathetic characters. In addition, the dialog was dubbed in the studio and loses all of its emotional expression in the process — in fact, according to the program notes authored by K. A. Westphal, the entire soundtrack was meticulously recreated long after shooting was completed [definitely read it for some unbelievable trivia]. In total, though, the film completely neglects the audience and instead slowly stews in its own world.

As such, the film is considered a masterpiece — in part because it deliberately rejects a serviceable narrative, and simply documents the lives of people who are essentially unremarkable jerks. As other reviewers noted, this undesirability of the characters seems to work against the cause of helping Native Americans. However, I took away the point that it was far too late — even in the 1960's — for the Native American cause. The people depicted on screen are the walking dead of a lost civilization. They drift from heartbeat to heartbeat, resigned to a purposeless fate: their entire culture having been wiped from the earth in what amounts to a mass genocide.

So in a way, I agree that it is a masterpiece. It spoke of the situation of recently-displaced Native Americans (who have been generationally displaced to boot) and what happens when you do that to someone. However, it's akin to experiencing the beauty of a sword by having someone slice your arm open with it. You can appreciate the workmanship and detail, but its true function is to cut and to kill, so what better way to truly immerse yourself in its beauty than by taking part in its primary function? The amoral, artistic side of me understands that that would be the pinnacle of sword examination, but the rest of me, well, doesn't really want to get cut.

And so, with my mighty blog and website and stuff, I set forth a demand to appeal to the audience. [And by that, I mean that I know that there are some Eastman House employees who will read this, and might consider bringing it up at a programming meeting, if the mood suits them.] My friends and I have had this kind of experience many times before: when a film is considered "great" or "important" for reasons other than how well it is appreciated by the average audience, but is noted for being altogether brilliant in its cinematic quality. I, personally, tend to enjoy these films too, but I need to be mentally prepared for them, and when I'm unprepared and end up getting blindsided, I find myself alienating the Dryden. I seek other avenues for entertainment … at least for a while. And I always end up coming back, and hopefully sooner than later.

I propose, therefore, that the Dryden begin offering "audience appreciation" films. This is different from "popcorn movies" which offer purely an experience of entertainment; rather a delineation of cinematic masterpieces that overlaps the "popcorn" genre. It's movies where the filmmakers consider the audience to be the most important part of the process.

Understandably, it's a difficult aspect to divine — after all, The Exiles had the audience at the forefront of its production as much as any other movie, and perhaps even more for respecting their knowledge and wisdom. Consider how different it is from Encounters At the End of the World, though: it's as if the audience is a cherished friend invited to explore something new and fascinating rather than colleagues already insatiably interested in the topic at hand.

Put simply, there's a difference between "cinematically important" and "enjoyable".

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Fly the flag today.Thanksgiving

Buy Nothing Day

Today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The More Fire Glass Studio (80 Rockwood Pl.) is their Holiday Show. [source: City Newspaper]

Apparently The Critical Mass Bike Ride is tonight starting at 5:30 p.m. at the clock tower near The Wilson Commons at The University of Rochester (Library Road, #39 on River Campus Map.) to The Liberty Pole (1 Liberty Pole Way) at 6 p.m. and heading through the city from there. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

This evening at 6 p.m. at The Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., formerly on Gregory St.) is another Community Dialogue Series — tonight's discussion is Youth Voices: What do Death and Violence Mean to Youth?. [source: Baobab website]

Tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. is the Thanksgiving Laser, Light and Fireworks Show at The High Falls Gorge (Platt St at Browns Race, the Pont De Rennes Bridge). [source: City Hall press release]

Gypsy Dave and the StumpjumpersGarageBand linkMySpace link, and The Ruckus Juice Jug StompersMySpace link will be at The Mez (389 Gregory St., formerly House of Hamez and Daily Perks) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Mez website] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) will be hosting good acoustic Electric OrganicMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee website] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Antonio Gaudí starting at 8 p.m., a documentary on the architect of the same name. Apparently, it's rich with great cinematography of great architecture. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight and tomorrow night at 8 p.m. at Upstage at The Auditorium Center (875 Main St E.) is a performance of The Nuts and Bolts Comedy Improv TroupeMySpace link. [source: Nuts and Bolts e-mail]

Tonight probably starting around 7 p.m. at The Storefront Anti-War Crisis Center (658 Monroe Ave.) is the Subversive Komedy Fest. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

JayceLand Pick From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at Cooks' World (2179 Monroe Ave.) is a Chocolate Tasting by Hedonist Artisan Chocolates (674 South Ave.) [source: Hedonist Chocolates website]

JayceLand Pick Today from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. is an Indie Market Arts and Craft Show from Second Storie} in the auditorium at The Rochester Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St.) [source: RocWiki calendar] [all ages]

The Mez (389 Gregory St., formerly House of Hamez and Daily Perks) will be hosting Uncle Jeff and the Mez Allstars tonight at 8 p.m. [source: Mez website] [all ages]

Top Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Animal House starting at 8 p.m. Hilarious. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) is Woody DodgeMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Abilene website]

JayceLand Pick The Lovin' CupMySpace link (Jefferson Rd. and John St. at 300 Park Point Dr., Suite 110) will be hosting fun, great 1960's-styled rock from The Hi-RisersMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Lovin' Cup Myspace page]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is Mikey JukeboxMySpace link, The DemosMySpace link, and bar-rock/punk-rock from Burning DaylightGarageBand link starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Bambi starting early at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting The Gay BladesMySpace link, and Young CoyotesMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Lovin' CupMySpace link (Jefferson Rd. and John St. at 300 Park Point Dr., Suite 110) will be hosting BadeaMySpace link starting around 7 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Bored? Why not check out 1980's DJ night at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 11 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

This morning at 7:30 a.m. in the cafeteria overlooking the arboretum in Bausch and Lomb (140 Stone St.) is the Artists Breakfast Group meeting ... anyone interested in art or creativity is invited.

JayceLand Pick This evening at 5:30 p.m. at Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) (657 East Ave.) is Digital Rochester's Festivus [early — they know] celebration featuring socializing, a "Chinese Auction", and music by The Nightflys. [source: RocWiki calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 6 p.m. at Arnett Branch Library (310 Arnett Blvd.) is a discussion by Submedia.tv's The Stimulator. [source: the proverbial grapevine] [all ages]

This evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Upstairs Lounge at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) is a Holiday Show and Sale featuring jewelry and textiles by Michelle Bellanti, and Cheryl Bagley, and featuring homemade brittle by Linda McFadden. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Tonight at 6:30 p.m. is a public hearing on The City's Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) for The Midtown Rising Project (a.k.a. the PAETEC Headquarters Boondoggle) in City Hall (30 Church St.) Per the press release, you can also submit comments and questions through December 19, the end of the 40-day public review period to Dorraine Laudisi, City Hall Room 125B, 30 Church St., Rochester, NY 14614 or by E-mail: Dorraine.Laudisi@CityofRochester.Gov. [source: City Hall press release]

Tonight at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) at 7 p.m. is (I believe) the first performance of A Christmas Story, based on the movie of the same name. [source: Geva Theatre website]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The General starting at 8 p.m. Buster Keaton stars as the army applicant rejected by the Confederate army, but destined to win the war with his titular locomotive in this otherwise historically-accurate film. Preceded by The Great Train Robbery, both with live piano accompaniment by Philip C. Carli. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Over at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. is Gates of Slumber, DemiricousMySpace link, the good, slowed-down metal of Orodruin, and Hyperion BlastGarageBand linkMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Today at 9 a.m. at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is a Members Coffee Talk with Eastman House director Anthony Bannon. Call for reservations. [source: Eastman House e-mail] [all ages]

Over at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) starting around 8 p.m. is The Eastman Jazz Lab Band. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Runaway Train starting at 8 p.m. I think the Eastman House calendar does a great job of piquing the interest in the film, describing how two escaped convicts "hop a ride on a barreling freight train without an engineer. The tension mounts as the desperate men realize their situation and attempt to slow down the title character." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Mobile DeathcampMySpace link, and Abdicate will be at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Poor People United meets tonight and every Wednesday at 7 at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality (402 South Ave.) [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Every Wednesday starting at Dogtown Hots (691 Monroe Ave.) at 7 p.m. is the Rochester Cruisers Wednesday Night Cruise (for bicyclists). [source: the proverbial grapevine]

There's an Open Mic for Acoustic Music at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) tonight around 8. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Tonight at 8 p.m. at Abeline Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) is an Open Mic with The Grand Canyon Rescue EpisodeMySpace link. [source: Abeline website]

Open-Mic Comedy at The Mez (389 Gregory St., formerly House of Hamez and Daily Perks) starting around 8 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine] [all ages]

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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. Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat." Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed. Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events. I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity. Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.) It's also not to be confused with Jake's World or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator. While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, November 27, 2008 (Thu, Nov 27, 2008, 11/27/2008, or 11/27/08) Friday, November 28, 2008 (Fri, Nov 28, 2008, 11/28/2008, or 11/28/08) Saturday, November 29, 2008 (Sat, Nov 29, 2008, 11/29/2008, or 11/29/08) Sunday, November 30, 2008 (Sun, Nov 30, 2008, 11/30/2008, or 11/30/08) Monday, December 1, 2008 (Mon, Dec 1, 2008, 12/1/2008, or 12/1/08) Tuesday, December 2, 2008 (Tue, Dec 2, 2008, 12/2/2008, or 12/2/08) and Wednesday, December 3, 2008 (Wed, Dec 3, 2008, 12/3/2008, or 12/3/08).

JayceLand Pick indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.

Top Pick indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.

GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

MySpace link links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.

Fly the flag today. is a day when you should fly the flag according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars calendar.

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