Saturday, June 22, 2024

Post 679 - RIFFing through Rochester - Illustrated with Too Many PICTURES! June 6-8, 2024

Scene of the Crime - The Dryden Theatre, next to the George Eastman Museum, or "GEM," which is how my name is pronounced in West Virginia.

Palpable expectations - will anyone show?  Will the film run?  Did I spell the movie title right?

The Original Kodak building, moved to the location, an extra story built, Eastman's office on the top floor. 

Filmmakers, documentarians, the scent of a pot growing facility on the 4th floor, the location has it all.

George Eastman is buried here, and he's obviously not going anywhere, so the general consensus is that he's quite dead at this point.

RIFF President, Bill Abrams, of Kodak, with an expansive greeting

We were feted, we were treated, we were watered, we were given Ultramax film

The take-away - "You want the look of film? Shoot film!" In George Eastman's old office on the third floor, in comfy seats, getting the low-down on Kodak's history since 1888.

Lawyer-filmmaker-theatrical documentarian Kemp Brinson, checking out - carefully checking out - Kodak's latest niche market: a $5500 super 8mm camera

As close as I'll ever get to one - we all were able to hold one of Kodak's dozen Oscar awards, as in "here's your award for inventing the movies" (ok, Edison had some say in it, too).  We shared the glove.  I guess the pandemic is officially over!

The Eastman House - dining room

The Eastman House - fireplace in the dining room, but central heating system control is on the wall, ca 1905

A proper place setting for dinner, with a special plate for any bones that may emerge during the experience

The locked, secured china cabinet, with doors that merged with the panels

Guests arrived at the side door, the ladies could go upstairs to "freshen up" before being presented at "the grand staircase"

No need for an alarm clock.  Eastman had an organist on the payroll who would arrive at 7:30am weekdays and start playing - on weekends, it was 8:00am.  It was also a player organ, with goodly sized rolls stored behind.

The garden room, site for Eastman's breakfasts

The game room included the latest in entertainment, again ca 1905

...but by 1930, a radio was added...

Caught out of the corner of one's eye, this was a bit spooky

The main entertainment and meeting room, where a quartet grew into Rochester's orchestra

Look up into the floor of the attic

The gardens were still green

A reconstruction of the "lost elephant" in the room, complete with tusks.  One of the originals fell out, showing that in Rochester, like Alabama, the Tuskaloosa.

The back-up player organ on the second floor

Laughter is both contagious and infectious.  Caution at all times.

Walking along the side streets of Rochester, an impromptu resting location - near the Dorado on Park Avenue

The BnB at 7 Strathallan - complete with a 1am fire drill so you can meet your fellow boarders!

The Eastman House, on East Avenue, built when the area was all farmland (he kept the farm going)

The RIT chose the proper name for this location - "Media - Art - Games - Interaction - and Creativity"

Amanda Hughes, recent RIT graduate, gave the tour for our introduction to the 22nd century

Quadraphonic?  Try Googlephonic

7000 square foot sound stage for whatever the mind can imagine

Ms. Hughes wearing her philosophy

A wall of sound - MAGIC

The main lobby - MAGIC

Video game streaming on Nintendo, created at MAGIC

Is MAGIC responsible for the name, "corn hole?" (hope not)

These plastic chairs, however, not Magic...

Instructor's office - tidy and restrained

... a bit less restrained ...

The CFO's office - extremely restrained

We were very well fed.  Thali of India, in Rochester

- worth every moment -

The whole lot of us, keeping tabs on Mr. Eastman

Nadan Pines, filmmaker ("Father's Son") contemplates larger formats

Ryan Steven Green ("Ephemeral Art and the Death of the Phone Booth") meets with Nadan Pines at the airport - and discovers empty phone booths!

It wasn't just a hallucination, just hallucinatory! If you send your film to no other festival, certainly send it to RIFF.  It was easily the best experience in a long, long time!


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