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Apr 24th
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TETRO

film_poster_tetroFrancis Ford Coppola is out of the giant, make-or-break blockbuster biz and back making small indie movies for the sheer joy of it. His newest, Tetro, is such an adventure in technique, style, and pure cinematic brio, it almost doesn’t matter that the story gets away from him the fourth act, and the film runs about 30 minutes too long. You can have too much of a good thing, and the sins of admission in Tetro detract from otherwise masterful storytelling, but there’s still plenty of swoony delight to be had in the look of the film and the operatic scope of its story.

 

film_tetroShot mostly in brooding, shimmering black and white, the story begins with dewy young American Bennie (Alden Ehrenreich), military school dropout and cruise ship busboy, arriving in Buenos Aires in the dead of night to visit his prodigal brother, Tetro (Vincent Gallo), a failed writer. Bennie was a child when Tetro left home to follow his muse, after their renowned composer father (played in flashback by the great Klaus Maria Brandauer) told him there was only room for one genius in the family. For the few days that his ship undergoes repairs, Bennie tries to reconnect with the prickly older brother who wants nothing more to do with their family. A father-sons drama of near-Biblical proportions (lust, betrayals, guilty secrets) unfolds against Tetro’s life with his warm and grounded girlfriend, Miranda (Maribel Verdu), and their bohemian artist friends, as Bennie probes for answers about their fractured family. Coppola injects dramatic revelations into the story in spasms of saturated color created in homage to the lush, slightly berserk Technicolor dance melodramas of the great Robert Powell (The Red Shoes). Snippets from Powell’s “Tales Of Hoffmann” are featured in Tetro, and Coppola stages a few more dances-within-the-film of his own to express the characters’ unspoken sorrows. This works beautifully on an emotional as well as visual level; the film is a pleasure to watch, even during a lengthy detour to an arts festival in Patagonia that eats up too much time and contributes nothing that might not have been more effectively inserted elsewhere in the film. Still, a mesmerizing performance from the ever-iconoclastic Gallo, and terrific support from accomplished Spanish actress Verdu and newcomer Ehrenreich, along with the vivacity of Coppola’s filmmaking, make Tetro a cinematic feast to be savored. (Not rated) 127 minutes. (3 1/2 stars out of 4)

 

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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

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.

 

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