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Weekly Rochester Events #606 Starting Thursday, August 19, 2010

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Dogtooth at the Dryden
by Jason Olshefsky at 8:00 pm (3 comments)

I headed out to the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see Kynodontas (Dogtooth). I suspected so, and sort-of confirmed when I checked Google's Language Tools: Kynodontas is the phonetic spelling of Κυνόδοντας which means "bicuspid" or what we'd usually call the "canine tooth". Breaking things down a bit, σκύλος is "dog", but κυνικός is "canine" and δόντι is "tooth" so it appears to me that the Greek is, as in English, literally "canine tooth". But in a way, calling the film "Dogtooth" makes more sense — the whole premise of the film is as if social customs were "translated" to another language then back again, repeating until no further changes happen.

The Dryden calendar describes the film as a "jet-black comedy about sexual repression". Their write-up implies that the universe where the film takes place is essentially the same as our own, and that the depicted family is highly unusual. I took away that the universe of the film is represented by the family — that the family is more a typical family than anything else. Since almost the entirety of the film is within the family's securely secluded compound of a home, there's little evidence to support either case.

The title comes from the notion that the central couple's two daughters and son must wait for a "dogtooth" to fall out before they are permitted to leave the compound. In the mean time, the family has fabricated games, they lie about language to their children (i.e. a "zombie" is a small yellow flower), and the outside world is said to be inhospitable and dangerous. But the story is told in an extremely dry fashion: as if it's all just a day-in-the-life of any family, with all the mundane details. Except, of course, that the behavior is so strange to us as to be disturbing — the father hires a woman at his workplace to engage in ritualistic, loveless sex with his son, for instance.

I saw the film in two ways. First was that it represented an example of fundamentalist logic. The father was the only one permitted to leave, and he provided for all the family's needs, and supplied all their information as he saw fit. Second, and more strongly, I felt it was just as bizarre as an outside culture may see how we live.

As it is, I spend a lot of time frustrated with the status quo and how it goes against logic, reason, and goodness. How can it be, for instance, that a person can be killed by a car and it's likely they will be blamed for it? Is it not the driver's responsibility to be in total control of their machine? It seems that an outside culture would be horrified to learn that we think this is okay.

The film just flooded me with more of the same. Has anyone ever killed a spider, bee, or snake for no logical reason other than we learned at an early age that these things are evil or dangerous? Can you think of a time when your parent (or you as a parent) ever told a child a lie about what a word means because they weren't "ready" to understand it yet? And what of all the myths that are passed off as fact in this supposed time of reason? — cell phones never caused a gas station fire (it's the static charge from getting into and out of the car), and insisting that patrons wear shoes does not make a restaurant more sanitary, to name a couple.

I will add that the film stirred quite a bit of controversy (and discussion).  Several people walked out during the screening, and almost as many people hated it as loved it.  One factor was some of the more shocking and visceral scenes which (curiously enough) depicted sex or violence. Another was the patriarchal, totalitarian state of affairs within the household. And the lack of comedy to many people's sensibilities. So it's definitely not for everyone, and not a whimsical film to enjoy on a rainy afternoon. At least not for everyone.

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    Today at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) at 11 a.m. is an Art at 11 Lecture with Alberto Rey. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Great, fun 1960's-styled rock band The Hi-RisersMySpace link play tonight at Lux LoungeMySpace link (666 South Ave.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: City Newspaper] [21+]

    Tonight at 7 p.m. is a performance of The Sidewalk That Couldn't Be Plowed at The Multi-Use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC) (142 Atlantic Ave.) [source: MuCCC website] [17+]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Dodesukaden starting late at 8:30 p.m. From the Eastman House calendar: "Tokyo's slums set the scene for master director Kurosawa's first color feature, a glimpse into the lives of urban have-nots at their most desperate and transcendent." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Very good, experimentally-daring acoustic soloist Seth Faergolzia will be at Havana Moe's Cigars (125 East Ave.) again at 9 p.m., this time with Jenna Giuliani [source: Facebook]

    Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is The LaarksMySpace link, The House of Bread, and The IndrasMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]


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    Tonight at 6 p.m. at The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) is Blues Night with The Coupe De' Villes. [source: Up All Night website]

    Today and tomorrow at 8 p.m. is Improv Elimination and Conspiracy Theory with Village Idiots Present (VIP) at The VIP Theatre (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate, Suite #D106). [source: Village Idiots Present website]

    Top Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Back to the Future starting at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. According to the Eastman House calendar, it's "just as much fun 25 years after its first release". Watch for evidence of the cola wars! [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting GoatwhoreMySpace link, Order of the DeadMySpace link, and SarcousMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    Tonight at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) is Girls, Guns and GloryMySpace link starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Abilene website]


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    JayceLand Pick Today from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. along South Avenue between Gregory and Averill is Wedgestock 2010. Don't miss musical highlights, brilliant satirical gospel from The Lobster QuadrilleMySpace link at 6:15 p.m., DJ Jon Herbert at 7:15 p.m., and (if I remember right) the final performance of Velveteen FoxMySpace link at 8 p.m. [source: Upper Mount Hope Neighborhood Association website] [all ages]

    Today starting around 10 a.m. is The Clarissa St. Reunion at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) [source: Flying Squirrel Community Space website]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Pranzo de ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch) starting at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday at 7 p.m. According to the Eastman House calendar, "a charming tale of good food, feisty women, and unlikely friendships, Mid-August Lunch centers on middle-aged Gianni (writer and director Gianni Di Gregorio), who, broke and living with his 93-year-old mother in their Rome apartment, agrees to take on the building manager's mother during Italy's traditional summer holiday season. [...] Mid-August Lunch is both a warmly vibrant family drama and a delicately balanced comedy of manners." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    Tonight at dusk (around 8:30 p.m.) is a screening of Toy Story at Park Point (300 Park Point Dr.). [source: Park Point website]

    JayceLand Pick Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) will be hosting Walt Wilkins and the MystiquerosMySpace link starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Abilene website]

    Tonight at 10 p.m. at The High Falls Gorge (Platt St at Browns Race, the Pont De Rennes Bridge) is the weekly Laser Show. [source: City Hall press release]

    Over at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is Anal Cunt, and ShamatariMySpace link [source: Bug Jar calendar]


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    Today from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Creekside Lodge at Ellison Park (Blossom Rd. at Landing Rd.) is Womonstock featuring artworks by women. [source: Culture starts with ART! (CSWA) Yahoo! Group] [18+]

    JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is 40 Years of Tunis, 16 Years of Carbon Records featuring numerous bands from Carbon Records' library. [source: Carbon Records calendar]


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    JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is The Abner TrioMySpace link, Ju-JajubaMySpace link, and Revengineers starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]


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    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 Tonight's MVP Health Care Tuesday Nature Nights starts at 6 p.m. of the Corn Hill Neighborhood starting from The Genesee Waterways Center (149 Elmwood Ave., in Genesee Valley Park) [source: City Hall press release]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Full Metal Jacket starting at 8 p.m. Stanley Kubrick's take on the Vietnam War — a "study of the perfect plan gone awry". [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting The Poison Control CenterMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]


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    The 2010 Wegmans Concerts by the Shore Series tonight starts at 7 p.m. at Ontario Beach Park (Beach Ave. at Lake Ave.) with Ruby Shooz. [source: City Hall press release]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Houseboat starting at 8 p.m. — a romantic comedy about a man taking to the sea to avoid his wife's sister. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. is Dave and Marrissa, and Those MockingbirdsMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    Today at 12:00 p.m. is a meeting of The Brown Bag Book Discussion Group in the Literature Division's Study Room at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

    Tonight at 6 p.m. at The Clarissa Room (293 Clarissa St., a.k.a. Clarissa's, formerly Shep's Paradise) is The Heat is R.A.P.I.E.R. Open Mic. [source: Equal=Grounds Facebook page] [all ages]

    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]

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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, August 19, 2010 (Thu, Aug 19, 2010, 8/19/2010, or 8/19/10) Friday, August 20, 2010 (Fri, Aug 20, 2010, 8/20/2010, or 8/20/10) Saturday, August 21, 2010 (Sat, Aug 21, 2010, 8/21/2010, or 8/21/10) Sunday, August 22, 2010 (Sun, Aug 22, 2010, 8/22/2010, or 8/22/10) Monday, August 23, 2010 (Mon, Aug 23, 2010, 8/23/2010, or 8/23/10) Tuesday, August 24, 2010 (Tue, Aug 24, 2010, 8/24/2010, or 8/24/10) and Wednesday, August 25, 2010 (Wed, Aug 25, 2010, 8/25/2010, or 8/25/10).


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