Ali and I headed to the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) for the discussion with Gerald Peary. It turned out he was screening a documentary he directed: For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism. The documentary was okay — it touched on the major "eras" of public film criticism, primarily in America. Motion picture making itself is barely 100 years old, and critical analysis necessarily followed. As documentaries of a history go, it was an imperfect, but generally pretty good essay on the topic.
As we stayed through the question-and-answer afterward, I kept revisiting a negative opinion: that the whole evening was packed with ignorance. It wasn't until later that I pinned it down: critics that made an impact were good writers who happened to critique motion pictures, but critics seem to co-opt the respect of being a good critic while ignoring the necessity of being a good writer first. This resonated with me strongest in the last segment that covered the Internet age. It seems that paid critics disliked the presence of Internet critics because they felt that the fact they were paid automatically made them superior. Rather, I think that the best critics — Internet or otherwise — are able to examine a film from a unique perspective that gives insight into that film.
Peary also insisted that a critic's role is to analyze a film within the context of film-as-art, not to identify whether you, as a reader, should see it. I think this is misguided. First, I agree that there is a majority of people who just want a movie review that tells them "good" or "bad" — they literally want to be told they will like a film (and further, I think their opinion is heavily swayed by what critics tell them). However, there is another group of people who read film criticism beforehand for its context in film-as-art so they can determine whether they want to see it. In some cases, it is to explain, "how can I enjoy this film?", or "why is this film important?" I've written in the past about how I use film criticism and synopses, noting that a review should bracket my experience and help me understand what to expect. For instance, I don't think a film like Vals Im Bashir(Waltz With Bashir) could be considered a movie that "people would like", but I'm glad I saw it and I think it was a great film. It was because I knew something of the film that I decided to see it — partly trailers, and partly through critical review. But I used those tools specifically to determine whether I should see it.
I braved the snow and headed to Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) to catch Paul Burke's show there. Paul himself stopped by for a while, but he was performing with his other band, other/other/other at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) that same night (in a sadly under-advertised show). Starting out was The Bogs Visionary Orchestra who played a rich tapestry of their modern Americana. Next was Eric the Taylor who I also liked: one guy playing ethereal, meditative, synthesized soundscapes. I'm really glad I stopped by.
Paul encouraged me to go to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) as well so I went there and caught the tail-end of other/other/other. Next was Cuddle Magic who I hadn't seen before. They are a large band with a variety of instruments. They play what I've come to call "motley folk" like Baby Shiver's Boutique but with their own nearly orchestral arrangement. I was getting tired, and alas, couldn't stay for the rest of the night. I'll look forward to seeing them sometime soon, though.
The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Volver starting at 8 p.m. a "wonderfully unpredictable film that details the relationships between multiple generations of strong and eccentric women, some of whom are living, some dead, and others between life and death."
Dryden Theater calendar][all ages]
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
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, December 17, 2009 (Thu, Dec 17, 2009, 12/17/2009, or 12/17/09) Friday, December 18, 2009 (Fri, Dec 18, 2009, 12/18/2009, or 12/18/09) Saturday, December 19, 2009 (Sat, Dec 19, 2009, 12/19/2009, or 12/19/09) Sunday, December 20, 2009 (Sun, Dec 20, 2009, 12/20/2009, or 12/20/09) Monday, December 21, 2009 (Mon, Dec 21, 2009, 12/21/2009, or 12/21/09) Tuesday, December 22, 2009 (Tue, Dec 22, 2009, 12/22/2009, or 12/22/09) and Wednesday, December 23, 2009 (Wed, Dec 23, 2009, 12/23/2009, or 12/23/09).
indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.
indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.
links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.
links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.