Laura Paglin conceived of The Nightowls of Coventry (which opens Friday at the Cedar Lee Theatre) in the late '80s, when its 1973 setting wasn't so distant. "When I first moved here, I picked an apartment at random in Coventry," says the director, who's originally from Portland, Oregon. "I started talking to people who were part of the counterculture scene in the '70s. They were very relaxed, but also very cynical."
The movie, which screened in a rough cut at the Cleveland International Film Festival two years ago, centers on a soon-to-be-demolished Coventry deli and the mix of people -- hippies, bikers, cranky Jewish guys -- who hang out in the 24-hour joint. "I find this combination of people intriguing," says Paglin. "It's different today. People are much more driven."
The filmmaker says her feature debut (devoid of big names, but loaded with indie spirit) is as much about the era as it is the storied neighborhood in which it's set. "I wanted it to be post-Vietnam," says Paglin, who will be at opening-day screenings. But people weren't fighting for any particular political cause at the time, she says, so "the deli became the new cause." The Nightowls of Coventry is at the Cedar Lee Theatre, 2163 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights; call 440-717-4696. -- Michael Gallucci
Painesville hosts a cuisine blowout.
Thursday's A Taste of Painesville marks the city's seventh annual end-of-summer gustatory street party. More than a dozen local restaurants, bistros, and cafés (including Ryder's Inn, Roberto's, and Flavors on the Square) contribute cuisine that ranges from coconut-chicken skewers to spicy empanadas. Chefs, restaurant managers, and food-service experts will be on hand to discuss the tasty eats, dispense cooking tips, and hand out recipes. And there'll be plenty of live music and beverages (alcoholic and non) to help wash down all the fine fare. "This event has continued to grow," says spokeswoman Kathy Campbell. "People are always hungry." Get your eat on from 5 to 10 p.m. on Main Street, between State and St. Clair streets, in Painesville. Admission is free. Call 440-392-5795 for more information. -- Chad Felton
TV's Lost finds its way to DVD.
We were so looking forward to catching up on Lost reruns this summer and picking up additional clues about that mysterious island those plane-crash survivors are stranded on. But ABC's been hopscotching over the episodes' running order and skipping two or three chapters at a time, making our clue-searching expeditions pretty darn futile. Which is why we're so grateful for the just-released Lost: The Complete First Season DVD set, a seven-disc box that includes deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette, cast and crew commentary, and most important, all 24 episodes of television's best and most engaging show. It's a terrific way to gear up for the upcoming second season, even if we still have a boatload of questions. -- Michael Gallucci
Saturday's Rubber City Road Rally is equal parts car race, scavenger hunt, and trivia contest. Navigators steer their driver teammates in the right direction, based on a series of clues that sends contestants to a secret destination. The first team to arrive wins. But last-place finishers also snag a prize. It starts at 3 p.m. at Akron City Women's Club, 732 West Exchange Street in Akron. Cost is $100 a car; call 330-535-1120. -- Lucy McKernan