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Apr 21st
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Pregcellent

film_babies2There’s plenty to go gaga over in ‘Babies’
It took director Thomas Balmès four years to give birth to Babies—talk about labor pains—so here’s hoping local audiences consider the new film a bundle of joy. Chance are they will.

The engaging documentary (HHH1/2 out of four), which opens Friday at The Nick, chronicles the offspring of four couples from different parts of the world, tracking a year of their baby’s life—from birth to first steps. There’s a boy from Mongolia, a girl from Namibia and a feisty gal from Tokyo. Best of all is San Francisco’s Hattie Bradshaw.

Naturally, her parents, Frazer Bradshaw and Susie Wise, couldn’t be more proud. Bradshaw is a cinematographer. He actually shot a good portion of Hattie’s footage whenever Balmès was in other parts of the globe filming the other babies. Wise teaches “design thinking” at Stanford.

“I really love the observational nature of the film,” Wise told GT when we caught up with her. “I felt that the way it showed the babies evolving and learning was very interesting, especially when we live in a world where we’re used to going a million miles a minute.”

Bradshaw adds, “We live in a culture that tells us how we’re supposed to think and feel and the film offers a really different perspective.”

Indeed it does. There’s hardly any dialogue in the doc, and thanks to its four engaging stars, as well as the music by Bruno Coulais (Coraline), the film hopes to offer enough mental breathing room for its audiences to just “experience” something rather than be bombarded by it.

All of it, though, wouldn’t have resonated as well as it does on-screen without Balmès’ unique take on the subject—he really ought to be credited for re-defining the nonfiction art form. Less is more here and the doc’s voyeuristic nature charms. He’s tracking the earliest stages of the journey of humanity and manages to win the audience over with something universal to all of us—living, learning and growing.

As for young Hattie, who is now 4 and lives with her parents in Oakland, well … she actually watched the film. (That is … she watched as much as a 4-year-old’s attention span could hold.)

“She’s actually more of a fan of the trailer,” Wise notes. “She was curious about seeing herself but really fascinated about watching the other film_babiesbabies. She calls them by name and talks about them. She mostly concluded that she is a “girl.’” This after witnessing one scene from the movie that finds the male Mongolian baby lying on his back in between diaper changes happily relieving himself, creating an impressive arch of urine.

Hey … it happens.

“She’s really interested now in seeing it in a real theater,” Wise adds. “Hattie told me, ‘I am going to see it really big theater and be with my friends.’” Whether she’ll take her thumb out of  her mouth long enough to give it an official “thumbs up” remains to be seen.
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Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
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