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Apr 20th
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Highwater

film_HIGHWATER-BethanyIt's the perfect antidote to a muggy summer evening: wave after wave of crystal-clear, turquoise walls of water towering some 20 feet up into the sky, then crashing down again in an explosion of surf, like shattering diamonds. These are the true stars of Dana Brown's latest surf documentary, Highwater, the gigantic, justly fabled waves off the North Shore of Oahu. Every so often you might notice a tiny human silhouette maneuvering a board under the curl or plowing over a crest, but mostly it's the natural spectacle of the thundering waves themselves, more than the people trying to ride them, that deserve the accolade "awesome." Brown (son of Bruce Brown, whose seminal The Endless Summer in 1966 set the standard for the genre) goes to the North Shore to document surfing's Triple Crown, a prestigious series of surf contests that cap the annual pro surfing circuit with a six-week climax in Oahu. (As one on-camera surf enthusiast explains, "Hawaii is a speed bump in the middle of the ocean," whose powerful break creates "the biggest ride-able waves on the planet.") Brown follows the pros, fans, wannabes, hangers-on, tourists, and locals from Haliewa Alii to Sunset Beach to the fearsome Banzai Pipeline. He follows the fortunes of various contestants throughout the three events, each with its individual winner, whose top scorers are then in competition for the title of Triple Crown Winner. Brown doesn't explain the scoring film_highwatersystem, who the judges are, or how they evaluate, so the details of the contest are a little hazy. He's more interested in the surfers themselves—from veterans Sunny Garcia (six-time Triple Crown Winner), Pat O'Connell and Kelly Slater to 13-year-old North Shore homeboy John John Florence. He builds up a little tourists vs. locals drama, celebrates the spirit of a place where lifeguarding is a career, and captures a genuine moment when the competition halts and the surfers paddle out to form a memorial circle for one of their own who never made it out of the pipe. (He also devotes a few well-meaning, if perfunctory, scenes to the North Shore women's surf competitions, still evidently deep in the shadow of the guys.) Hand-held guerrilla production values chip away a bit more of the film's potential. But if the sheer majesty of "the best waves in the world" floats your board, this movie won't disappoint. Not rated. 90 minutes. (★★1/2) | LJ

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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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