Weekly Rochester Events #226: This Stupid 1,622 Year-Old Clock Face is Getting Dim

Thursday, May 8, 2003

Ok, so this week brings another of those TestDate events. I'm completely torn on whether to go. I'm feeling absolutely pathetic lately and really don't want to date anyone ... and even less so than my usual jaded self. This is from the heart, kids. I have to get off my butt and do things! And not just writing this page or going out to see bands. I gotta get going and get photographs displayed somewhere, and finish the gas mileage project, and work on that restaurant idea, and make more fun things at the JayceLand's CafePress Store, and work on that book that I just started, and finish that short film idea ... and the other 112 things in my idea list. Otherwise, I'll just be some loser fraud guy with a bunch of "ideas." What better reason to not date anyone than that you wouldn't date yourself, even if you were gay.

By the way, you should have just skipped that paragraph because you can kiss off if you think you're going to bill me for psychotherapy time. Ha! So there!

I almost forgot ... speaking of single events, I'll be working on a Flower City Habitat for Humanity house with the Single Volunteers of Rochester. I'm not very interested in getting involved with that group, but the Habitat thing had appeal, and it was very little effort for me to sign up. Hopefully I'll be able to make it to O'Bagelo's (165 State Street) for lunch since the event is not far away at 124 Fulton Ave.

Before I delve into this week's lengthy editorial, let me editorialize a couple things. First, I suddenly like The Dixie ChicksMP3 link. I'm not a country music fan in general, nor have I really listened to anything they've ever produced other than by accident, but Natalie Maines went and said she didn't approve of our President's actions and actually put him in a bad light ... well good for her. It's nice to see that there's someone in "America" who isn't afraid of the McCarthy Trials II to come in 2004 when she'll be burned at the stake.

Second, I want to say that I now hate the Kimberly and Beck show on 98.9 "The Buzz" (you know, the 1980's station) and I don't listen anymore. Last Wednesday they had a sound-byte from Hillary Clinton where she said "I am sick and tired of people who call you unpatriotic if you debate this administration's policies. We are Americans. We have the right to participate and debate any administration." [According to a press release I found, she was shouting over the audience who I think were cheering.] Anyway, Beck said that she must have been "PMS-ing" or pre-menopausal for yelling so loudly and Kimberly agreed. I really can't stand that misogynist bullshit that goes on every morning. If that were Bill Maher or Bart Simpson, they'd be commenting on the content of the message, but since it was Hillary—who is *gasp* a woman—they feel the message takes a back seat to her gender. Damn it, get your asses out of the 1580's and get real you morons.

Whew ... let me just put in a one-sentence paragraph to prepare for the upcoming change of topic.

Anyway, I got to go to the Rochester International Film Festival last weekend. I guess they're playing down the "Movies on a Shoestring" name, although that's the unofficial name of the festival. Yeah, yeah. I got to see all the showings, but I did miss one and a half films. First, here's my list of my top 10 picks ... from number 10:

Artist, City
Technical Why I Liked It
Mount Everest—Up Close and Personal
Ron Strobel, Malvern, PA
17:00, Color, 1/2" video Some guy gets a bug in his ass about going to Mount Everest, not climbing it (a point he has to explain to his family and friends.) He gets himself in shape enough to cross the "small" mountains of Nepal and brings along his video camera so we can enjoy the journey as well. You should really do things in your life too.
19 at 11
Michael Schwartz, Marina Del Rey, CA
15:00, Color, 16mm This is a quite funny view of the overly dramatic version of the politics in the sidelines of the evening news (shall I draw arrows for you?) A couple news anchors battle one another for domination. I picked this over some of the other films that were good because they open with the squish-the-movie-credits effect so the news anchor can announce the upcoming news, but the credits themselves are accelerated beyond any hope of legibility—a nice touch, in other words. The broken teleprompter is funny too.
All That I Perceive
Lindsay Daniels, Oakland, CA
4:00, Color, 1/2" video This is a fascinating metphoric view of how the narrator gets an unusual eye condition where she has double vision, and how that allowed her to re-evaluate her perception of reality as being the only one.
The Least of These
Rik Swartzwelder, Solver Spring, MD
20:00, Color, 35mm All the regulars at the diner do their regular thing until a stranger shows up and suggests they throw a surprise party for one of their own, creating a ripple in the untouched pool of their collective lives. Although the concept isn't groundbreaking, the execution is very smooth.
Die Leiden der Jugend (The Sorrows of Youth)
Brian M. Plow, Athens, OH
16:00, Color, 1/2" video A remarkable silent video about a young man's pursuit of a librarian and the older librarian who thwarts their love. Similar in concept to The Graduate, but different enough to warrant a close look.
Anna Condo, New York, NY
18:00, Color, 35mm Because of this film I decided that if I were to make a movie that I'd shoot it on film. It's so nicely saturated and warm ... anyway, a unique statuette is desired only after it's passed on, and eventually completes a circular journey. Writer/director Anna Condo is also the lead actress and plays the role perfectly, brilliantly utilizing silent solo scenes as well as handling the sparse dialog.
Christina Spangler, Cold Spring, NY
8:00, Color, 16mm A peculiar animation where a potato literally gains sight and becomes aware of its own mortality. I find myself remembering the expert and intricate animation on the spud's eye in haunting detail, plus the film is strongly and subtly metaphoric on several levels which I'm not done figuring out yet.
Taste It All
Richard J. Liukis, Los Angeles, CA
27:00, Color, 35mm In a modernized version of the style created by Miami Vice and drawing from surrealist artists, this film explores what an artist has to go through to make a buck. In a way it's funny, but mostly it just oozes its pure and perfectly executed style.
Gabriele Zamparini, New York, NY
14:00, B&W, 35mm A man finds that water is pivotal to his lineage as New York's interpersonal desolation takes its toll on him. It's really quite spiritual.
Vilka Tzouras, Brooklyn, NY
28:00, Color, 16mm An incredibly painful film to watch if you're empathetic to the frustration of the characters who have trapped themselves in their pathetic lives, and doubly so if you realize this is reality.

As for my reviews of the films before I saw them, I did okay at guessing. Most of the time all that matched was either due to interpretation of the original synopsis or because I wrote vaguely enough that you could assume I got it right. One film, though, I got exactly right. For Crossing, I said, "Some guy dies and doesn't realize it until he meets everyone he knows in some bizarre homage to It's a Wonderful Life. Do you even care if he's really dead?" which is exactly how I'd have described it after seeing the film. Of course, I give away the reveal at the end, but in my opinion, a good movie is even better if you know how it ends. Citizen Kane and The Usual Suspects come to mind.

But enough of that ... back to me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me.

Stop it.

After the 11:00 show on Friday (which ended around 1) Robert Deege and Michael Turfler who—ironically enough—made Sobering (about a guy who tries to piece together what happened on a celebratory drunkfest, only to discover something really really bad ... and it's not that he's gay like I said in my pre-reviews) uhh ... where was I ... oh, ironically enough, Mike and Rob wanted to go out and hit some bar. Since Mike was staying in a house off Park Avenue, he wanted to go to Prepp's (729 Park Ave., rarely known as J. W. Prepp & Company Ltd.) Sweet mother of girls gone wild, this place is like the low-rent version of J. D. Oxford's (636 Monroe Ave.) Now, when I was younger, so much younger than today, there were a couple times I needed help staggering out of that place. However, the dot on my hand turned black a few years ago and they won't let me hang out there anymore. (Sorry to whomever's brain just fried switching references without a clutch ... clitch ... cliche ... cliché ... segue ... Applecore! Baltimore! Who's your friend? ... oops ... what's that frying smell?)

I had a good time with the mod crew consisting of Mike, Rob, their friend Kim, Lindsay Daniels (who made All That I Perceive) Stefanos Kafatos (Spikedriver) Josh Springer (All Games are Home Games: Baseball in San Quentin) Christina Spangler (Unearthed) and her friend Amy. (*sigh* Amy. She so deserves this parenthetical italic and more.) For one thing, all the people who hung out had good films so I didn't have to squirm while I made up some doublespeak lie to avoid saying anything at all.

So we got to Prepp's and got some pitchers of beer and sat down and talked for a while. We were deep in moron territory ... girls danced on tables on the brink of (but not over the brink of) taking their tops off and little yuppie wanker boys got into fights. We persevered, and were among the last to leave. The hot dog vendor beckoned from the vestibule. Jayce waxed poetic about leaving a shitty bar.

Uhh, so we went to where Mike was staying and had a couple beers and talked about other directors and movie stuff. I felt like a Hollywood socialite, albeit a complete fraud (see above) and held my own in the conversation. Everyone finally headed home around 4:30 and I had to wipe the dew off my bike seat and apply a coat of poetic wax. Oh ... sorry. I got home around 5 and couldn't sleep. A Diet Pepsi and a coffee from Starry Nites (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) were administered at exactly the right moments to keep me wired beyond belief. I ended up starting laundry and getting sporadic sleep on Saturday morning. After O'Bagelo's (165 State Street) I took a nap which was unfortunately more successful ... I woke up 5 minutes into the first Saturday show of the festival. I got down there in time to see half of Tiny Magic but entirely missed Nine. Dang ... so close to perfect attendance.

So what about Amy? Well, I have this tendency to not get phone numbers from women I like. I think I figured out what goes wrong. I talked with Amy a couple times and really enjoyed doing so. (Plus, she's cute ... like really cute.) The thing is I forget that there's this sequentalness to time where tomorrow, I won't be able to see her again—it just doesn't dawn on me that in the future, the present will be the past. Oh yeah, she said that she thought I was really good at conversation which is one of those beyond-the-surface kind of insightful compliments we all look for. Oh well ... I guess all I can do is pine away waiting for Christina Spangler to do a vanity search on Google and find this page, or for Amy to look for Christina's film in the festival, or to look for her name and Christina's ... uh oh, maybe it's spelled Aimee ... or Amee or Ayme ... well, that ought to cover it. Er ... I mean, if there's supposed to be this "magic" in the world where people who belong together are supposed to get together, and we're supposed to be together, then I guess it will all happen, right?

Then again, see above.

  • Lawless Heart (at The Little) - When a man dies unexpectedly, his friends reassess their lives and relationships. Oh, did I mention the dead guy was gay? I'm sure that's very very important.
  • A Mighty Wind (at The Little) - A possibly subtly funny movie about the folk music "industry" à la This Is Spinal Tap.
  • Daddy Day Care - Hyuck hyuck. Men are so bad with babies. Everyone knows it's the womenfolk who should stay home and do women stuff.

V-E Day

Checked personally by Jayce Remember when I reminded you to get advance tickets for the Rochester Hamfest? Well time is running out ... you've only got until May 15 to get them, and I won't remind you next week.

Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) early at 8 is Thee ShamsGarageBand link, The PriestsGarageBand link, and Riviera Playboys.

I've got to remember to bring Bee EaterGarageBand link their pictures from February ... they're at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) tonight with the solid punkish rock band El Destructo starting around 10:30.

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing And Life Goes On starting at 8. A father and son scour the Koker region of the Middle East after an earthquake for the child stars of their prior film.

In an attempt to amplify how I've been feeling about not getting anything done with my life, RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map image) will be showing the insipid film Dazed and Confused which was made in 1993, the year I graduated from there. It's part of the Spring Festival and will be shown outside the Student Union at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map image) starting at 8:30 (probably more like 9:15 when it actually gets dark) followed by fireworks at 10:30.

Today from 3 to midnight and tomorrow from 4 to midnight, the carnival rides at the Spring Festival at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map image) will be up and running.

Today is the first day of Lilac Festival festival, and WBER (2596 Baird Rd.) set up a cool show with Sarah SleanMP3 link starting at 7 at the Lilac Stage at the corner of Highland and South for FREE.

Over at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is another DJ Dangler event starting around 9 ... this time it's Covenant and Melotron. Hopefully it'll be downstairs in the spooky basement ... too bad it's wicked expensive—$15 in advance and more at the door ... this ain't New York. Well, it is, but—you know what I mean.

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Through the Olive Trees starting at 8. A view of the infighting on the set of a movie.

Checked personally by Jayce O'Bagelo's, 165 State Street, noon.

Updated: In the atrium near The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square), Earl Cram Revue will play starting around 2.

Updated: I mentioned it in the summary but I thought I'd add that Single Volunteers of Rochester will be working at the Flower City Habitat for Humanity house at 124 Fulton Ave. today from 8:45 until 4. I doubt you can sign up anymore through Single Volunteers, but keep it in mind in the future ... it should be fun.

As part of the Spring Festival at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map image) the Residence Halls Association will sponsor a free barbeque starting at 11 p.m. So, if you get loaded early at MacGregor's (300 Jefferson Rd.) then head on over for some free eats. It's okay, you can just tell them that I sent you.

Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is a double-special show--it's both a Black Sabbath Tribute and The Bug Jar's 13th Birthday featuring The VEiNS, Low TonMP3 link, The Grinders, Pauli RoccoMP3 link, Fallguy, Defenbombed, The Franks, Eddie Nebula and the PlagueGarageBand link, The Purrs, and Nervous Virgins all starting around 9:30.

If you feel the need to get your groove on, well, maybe you should stay home to do that. If you're looking for some 1970's disco and assorted other covers, check out United Booty Foundation starting around 9:30 at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.)

Better Days can quench your thirst for covers of modern rock songs up at Spenders (1600 Lyell Ave.) tonight around 10:30.

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Roger Dodger starting at 8. A guy with a Peter Pan complex explains sex to his 15 year-old nephew.

Fly the flag today.Mother's Day

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Robe starting this afternoon at 3. The worlds first Cinemascope movie ... about the discovery of the robe of Christ.

Another cool thing: up at the Lilac Stage near Highland and South is The BuddhaHoodMP3 link playing at 5 ... all part of Lilac Festival.

Back again for another week is the Grand Pictionary Contest at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) tonight starting around 8.

Updated: Upper Mount Hope Neighborhood Association will be having their monthly (semi-monthly?) meeting tonight at St. Anne Church (1600 Mt. Hope Ave.) starting around 7.

Updated: The local, then L.A., then local band SnmnmnmMP3 link is back, this time at the ESL Lilac Stage at Lilac Festival starting at 6:30.

Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is the all-girl Rock Paper Scissors Tour starting around 9 or so with punk-rocker Tami HartMP3 link, Boston's rock band The Kitty KillMP3 link, Secret Cock, Sara Seinberg and Paige McBee.

It looks like Penny Arcade (4785 Lake Ave.) is trying to stay on the map with MotörheadMP3 link, AnthraxMP3 link, HavocHateGarageBand link, and Erase the GreyMP3 link starting around 9.

Updated: There's a group of guest bartenders who'll be at Drinks by Mary Dawn (535 S. Clinton) from 6 to 9 and all their tips will go toward Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

There's Rochester's third "speed dating" event (the second one was out of my age range so I didn't post it) from TestDate at Tapas One Seventy Seven (177 Saint Paul St.) tonight starting at 6:45. Be sure to RSVP on the TestDate website, it's for singles from 28 to 40, and it's $24 when you get there.

Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) tonight is Sexual Marmalade with Coppards starting around 10:30.

Updated: In yet another event I missed when I made the weekly update, the awsome rock band Longwave will be up at House of Guitars (645 Titus Ave.) starting around 4.

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Roman Holiday starting at 8. Audrey Hepburn as a princess and Gregory Peck as the commoner she falls in love with in Rome ... how quaint.

Not ready for mainstream Tonight from 8 to 10 is an Open-Mic Comedy Night at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) While once it was a workshop type of environment, it's now more-or-less a regular open mic ... by default it's still a place to try out new stuff.
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