Pop Rocks

Steven Uhles is a guest entertainment columnist

Pop Rocks: Westobou offerings appeal nicely to different audiences

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Amos Lee is one of the headlining acts for this year's Westobou Festival. Tickets are $25 advance or $35 with a $100 VIP ticket option through westoboufestival.com.  HARPER LEE/SPECIAL
HARPER LEE/SPECIAL
Amos Lee is one of the headlining acts for this year's Westobou Festival. Tickets are $25 advance or $35 with a $100 VIP ticket option through westoboufestival.com.

Like any event that books multiple acts, the Westobou Festival schedule – mark your calendars for Oct. 1-5 – is coming together with evenings of art and entertainment that will appeal to and engage different audiences.

The crowd that comes to see singer-songwriter Amos Lee, for instance, might prove considerably different than those that clamor for tickets for the Complexions dance company. That is the nature, and beauty, of a festival-style event.

Yet, sometimes, there are events booked that seem to transcend a particular audience. People see, feel and understand that what is being offered is something special and significant – a universal must-see. That’s what makes a marquee event, and the potential for evenings like this are what make the Westobou Festival special.

In the past, these events have included an evening with National Public Radio personality Ira Glass, a concert by soul legend Al Green and last year’s initial partnership with the Greater Augusta Sports Council for the Color Run.

This year it will be a celebration of – and, happily, with – an authentic Hollywood legend. This year’s Westobou, though marked by a variety of interesting and entertaining events, will be remembered as the year Peter Bogdanovich came to town.

On Wednesday, Oct. 1, the Westobou festival will present a remastered director’s cut screening of his classic coming-of-age masterpiece The Last Picture Show preceded by a conversation with the filmmaker. This will be followed, later in the week, by screenings of his movies Paper Moon and They All Laughed.

It should be noted that although best known as a filmmaker, Bogdanovich, long before he made his first movie, was recognized as a film scholar. He brings a real depth of cinematic knowledge and understanding to not only his movies, but also the discussion of film as art and cultural artifact as well. Though the programming focuses on Bogdanovich’s films and career, my expectation is some exploration of the medium, in the most general sense of the word, as well.

And while we are on the subject, let us pause for a moment to pay tribute to someone who has, over the course of the past several festivals, done much to make film such a vital and viable part of the programming.

​Matthew Buzzell first lent his talent, time and considerable film and music contacts to the Westobou festival in 2010 as part of the team, which also included Coco Rubio and Eric Kinlaw, that brought 13 Most Beautiful, the musical interpretation of Andy Warhol films by art rock act Dean and Britta, to Sacred Heart.

Buzzell was also instrumental, in subsequent years, in bringing similar music/movie events to Westobou. Because they are always marquee events, it could be argued that Buzzell has proven as essential to the festival’s brand and success as any act. Westobou is lucky to have him, as is the community of film fans that will once again reap the reward of his hard work.

Thank you, Mr. Buzzell.

For more information, visit westoboufestival.com.


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