Weekly Rochester Events #639 Starting Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

The Beast Pageant in Boston
by Jason Olshefsky at 4:52 pm (add a comment)

About this time last Thursday, I was arriving in Boston. As an actor in The Beast Pageant, I was tagging along with filmmaker Albert and costume designer Vanessa to The Boston Underground Film Festival (BUFF). The Beast Pageant's artistic dream-logic metaphor was just barely appropriate for the horror-and-gore territory covered by the festival.

The opening-night screening was Hobo With a Shotgun at The Kendall Square Cinema (1 Kendall Sq., Cambridge, MA) — where all the rest of the films would be screened. I found "Hobo" fantastic — a 1980's action-exploitation film with Rutger Hauer, no less, in the lead role as a hobo trying to make ends meet but cornered into violent action. The bad guys are played with comic-absurd gusto as all parties are supported by a tongue-in-cheek script.

Afterward, that night's part was at T.T. the Bear's Place (10 Brookline Pl., Cambridge, MA), right around the corner from Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub (472 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA). There were several bands and The Whore Church was performing live video mixing. Unfortunately it wasn't much of a place to chat (nor was there food) so we went to the Middle East for dinner which was pretty good. We weren't particularly impressed by T.T.'s as service was blasé and drinks were expensive ($2.50 for a soda, really? — but I guess that's Boston for you.) We got the last train on the Red Line to get home around 12:15 a.m.

On Friday we headed to The Gallery Diner (11 P St., South Boston, MA) which was fantastic. We made smalltalk with the friendly owners Paul and Colleen and the food was great. Exploring the Harvard Square area, we stopped at a few record and comic stores and I got an excellent fresh, locally-produced shake at the regional fast-food chain b.good (24 Dunster St., Cambridge, MA).

I checked out the "BUFF Family Values" short film program back at the festival and was pleased with all the films — some disturbing, some powerful, some funny, and some just strange. Later that night, we all saw Machete Maidens Unleashed which was a pretty decent documentary about the Philippine exploitation film industry in the 1970's and 1980's. I opted to see the 1973 film The Twilight People which was made in the Philippines during that era — a terrible film by nearly all counts. I recall listening to the dialog and thinking, "I wish they'd stop talking" and a scene later when they were walking through the jungle, "I wish there was more dialog". It was astounding to me that someone put this film together and decided they were done — continuity, plot, editing, and special effects came second to, well, cost, I guess.

Saturday started with an acceptable breakfast at Mul's Diner (75 W. Broadway, South Boston, MA). From there we went straight to the festival to catch "OMFG LMFAO!" and "Psychedelicinema" — a pair of shorts programs. The first offered a few chuckles but we didn't find it all that funny. The second was, in my opinion, a little better, but it was really abstract films and not psychedelic. We stayed for about half the program, skipping out partway through the 30-minute final film.

Between screenings I met Josh MacDonald, writer of The Corridor. I skipped the "Where the Music's At" music-videos short program, to see Josh's film. It was really excellent: evenly paced and gradually asking for suspended disbelief at the increasingly paranormal activity ensuing on screen. Despite its evenness, it delves into some extremely dark and gruesome territory — I found it highly successful.

We had a break and got to hang out (finally!) with other filmmakers at The Friendly Toast (1 Kendall Sq., Cambridge, MA) — and the only event to include free food. [I realize I'm knocking the festival for lackluster treatment of out-of-town guests, but I also know they're running on a shoestring budget and just didn't plan things out very well for us.] We finished the day with a pleasant at-home dinner with friends and family.

Sunday I met with my college friends at The Daily Catch (441 Harvard St., Brookline, MA). In 2002 I went to The Daily Catch (323 Hanover St., Boston, MA) and loved it, so I had to go back. The location in Brookline is bigger so Jan, Griffin, John, Michelle, Rob, Kevin, and myself could comfortably fit. Unfortunately they didn't open until 2 so we dawdled on the street, hanging out at the super cool Irving's Toy and Card Shop (371 Harvard St., Brookline, MA). At lunch I had the pistacio-encrusted swordfish which was fantastic. Everyone had a good meal for sure. We stayed and talked for a couple hours then Kevin and I headed back to the festival.

We got there a bit early and had plenty of time to get into the big event (for us): the screening of The Beast Pageant (and on IMDb). About 40 people showed up to watch it and, as best I can tell, really enjoyed it. It was fun to be part of the question-and-answer panel.

Afterward was the closing night party at Tommy Doyle's Irish Pub and Restaurant (1 Kendall Sq., Cambridge, MA). (The festival runs once during the weekend, and then nearly all the films are repeated during the week, making it possible to actually see every screening.) I had a celebratory shot of 18-year-old Glenlivet scotch — my first alcoholic drink since the beginning of December when I quit (I permit myself a rare taste of something extraordinary, or under truly extraordinary circumstances.) The Beast Pageant won a runner-up "Director's Choice" award for best feature.

On Monday things got amusing. We got up for breakfast and I headed out around 11:05 to get the train back home. We had been averaging 15 minutes to get to the South Station where I was to get the train, but today buses were running on a half-hour schedule rather than every 10 minutes. I called for a taxi around 11:30 and was promised one immediately; I passed on boarding a bus that arrived shortly after. Alas, the cab didn't show up in time. I took the next bus and got to the Amtrak station (Summer St. and Atlantic Ave., Boston, MA) about 20 minutes late — if only I'd have hopped on that 11:30 bus. Alas, I traded my unclaimed ticket for one tomorrow. At least I got to see "Future Imperfect" — the science fiction short film program. It was okay but not great. Kevin was kind enough to let me stay at his place.

That night he and I went out and got dinner at Punjab Palace (109 Brighton Ave., Allston, MA) which really had great Indian cuisine. After that we went to see bands play at Charlie's Kitchen (10 Elliot St., Cambridge, MA). We were disappointed in the first act and headed to The Lizard Lounge (1667 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA) for an open-mic. That was a blast and we stayed quite late. We got back to his house and I slept on the futon couch.

I left when Kevin went to work, taking the T into the city packed with all the commuters. I found the Banksy graffiti art that Kevin mentioned off Essex Street then went to The South Street Diner (178 Kneeland St., Boston, MA) for breakfast. The staff was friendly and the breakfast burrito was quite good. I hung around and chatted for quite some time, arriving at the train station with plenty of time to spare.

I was happy to be on the train home. I arrived in Albany a little late but had about an hour before it left again, so my parents stopped by and we had a quick and decent Italian dinner at (if I remember right) Rudy's V & R Ristorante (483 Broadway, Rensselaer) across the tracks from the station. I was worried for a bit but got back in time to get back on the train home.

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    JayceLand Pick Dr. Gail M. Seigel will review The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot at today's Books Sandwiched-In from 12:10 p.m. to 1 p.m. at Brighton Memorial Library (2300 Elmwood Ave.) [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Today from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at The Sully Branch of the Rochester Public LIbrary (530 Webster Ave.), a speaker from The Genesee Valley Audubon Society (GVAS) will discuss Falcons in the City and present a slideshow about "the Peregrine Falcons that make their home in downtown Rochester." [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Tonight at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) is The Eastman Percussion Ensemble starting at 8 p.m. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

    Top Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Taking of Pelham One Two Three starting at 8 p.m. Walter Matthau stars in this witty thriller about a hijacked subway train in New York City. The last time I saw it, I liked it a lot! [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is The Blue CranesMySpace link, Wills Bands, and The Last Groove starting around 8:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    Over at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) starting around 10 p.m. is really good blues-charged rock from Buford and Smokin' SectionMySpace link. [source: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que calendar]

    This evening at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) is the Pure Kona Poety Reading and Open Mic starting at 8 p.m. [source: Flying Squirrel Community Space website]

    Today at The Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., formerly on Gregory St.) is a Community Dialogue Series event: a Meditation with Usha Shah starting at 2 p.m. [source: Baobab website]

    This evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Siskind Gallery at The Rochester Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St.) is the VSW Benefit Auction. [source: Visual Studies Workshop calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Tonight starting around 6 p.m. for Happy Hour at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) is The GoCatsMySpace link followed at 9 p.m. by Liz LarinMySpace link, then later by Luca Forester and The Electro KingsMySpace link. [source: Abilene website]

    Tonight at The Firehouse Gallery at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. is the opening of The 4th Annual College Clay Collective which runs through April 30. [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

    JayceLand Pick The Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., formerly on Gregory St.) will be screening In Love We Trust tonight at 7 p.m. [source: Baobab website]

    Joel LindleyMySpace link will be at The Comedy Club (2235 Empire Blvd., Webster) tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. [source: Freetime]

    JayceLand Pick The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Ju-JajubaMySpace link, Kerrin Pantalakis, and Dangerous PoniesMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Films From The New American Cinema starting at 8 p.m. — a "sampling of films championed by Jonas Mekas reveals the diversity of his interests, the expanse of his sensibility, and the shadow of his influence." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    Top Pick Tonight at The Montage Live Music HallMySpace link (50 Chestnut St., formerly the Montage Grille) is a great stage show and excellent surf-based rock from The IsotopesMySpace link starting around 10 p.m. [source: band e-mail] [all ages]

    Today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is the 45th Annual Open House of The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (Dryden Rd. and Tower Rd., Ithaca) [source: Facebook]

    Anderson Alley Artists (250 Goodman St. N.) will be having another open house this and every second Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

    This evening at The Center at High Falls Fine Art Gallery (60 Browns Race) from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. is An Evening With the Arts Annual Auction and Spring Carnival. [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Reminiscences Of A Journey To Lithuania starting at 8 p.m. with filmmaker Jonas Mekas, and his friend Peter Bogdanovich on-hand to introduce and discuss his "landmark diary film with footage shot after his arrival in Brooklyn, displaying all the sadness and yearnings of the displaced. He then returns to Lithuania for the first time in 25 years, and uses his camera to document every last bit of life and heritage stolen from his family and his country by the Nazis. Finally, Mekas travels to Vienna and basks in friendship and love. The result is a "home movie" of uncommon gravity and impact." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    Tonight at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) is 2 Hour DelayMySpace link, and Kevin MacConkey and IDK starting around 9 p.m. [source: Abilene website]

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    Halo Haze's Neon Night will be at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 8:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

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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, April 7, 2011 (Thu, Apr 7, 2011, 4/7/2011, or 4/7/11) Friday, April 8, 2011 (Fri, Apr 8, 2011, 4/8/2011, or 4/8/11) Saturday, April 9, 2011 (Sat, Apr 9, 2011, 4/9/2011, or 4/9/11) Sunday, April 10, 2011 (Sun, Apr 10, 2011, 4/10/2011, or 4/10/11) Monday, April 11, 2011 (Mon, Apr 11, 2011, 4/11/2011, or 4/11/11) Tuesday, April 12, 2011 (Tue, Apr 12, 2011, 4/12/2011, or 4/12/11) and Wednesday, April 13, 2011 (Wed, Apr 13, 2011, 4/13/2011, or 4/13/11).

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