Tasty sampling of Pacific cultures in 22nd Pacific Rim Film Festival
Music, food, dance, traditional folkways and eco-politics are spotlighted at this year's Pacific Rim Film Festival. Now in its 22nd year, this popular, annual free film event once again offers viewers a cinematic voyage of discovery around the Pacific Rim of Asia and the Americas. In a program of 18 drama and documentary films, transporting viewers to such diverse locations as Nepal, Bolivia, Korea, New Orleans, the Marianas Islands, and the South Pole, this cinematic sushi bar invites us to sample the exotica of other cultures, while reminding us how much we have in common, despite our cultural differences.
This year's six-day event unspools Friday, Oct. 15, through Wednesday, Oct. 20, at three countywide venues: the Del Mar Theatre, the Rio Theatre, and the Cabrillo College Watsonville Center. All films are presented free to the public, except for the closing-night benefit, and many screenings will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmaker. Presented by George Ow Family Properties, the festival is dedicated to promoting cross-cultural understanding, in accordance with the longtime PRFF theme: “When Strangers Meet.”
The human alchemy of Qi Gong
Playing with energy. This is the idea behind Qi Gong according to Lee Holden, who has studied the ancient Chinese art of movement and meditation for more than 20 years. Holden is a founding director of the Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine and Chi Center and also an acupuncturist. He will be leading a Qi Gong Intensive Workshop at the Santa Cruz Center on Sunday, Oct. 17.
“Qi means life-force energy,” explains Holden. “It’s the energy that keeps us alive and that animates our body. It’s the energy behind thoughts and consciousness and it’s the energy that beats your heart.” Qi Gong—pronounced “chee gung” and sometimes spelled “Chi Gong”—is used worldwide by some 100 million people. The practice is described by Holden and others as self-healing and is characterized by slow, fluid movements and stretches, deep breathing and the vocalizing of specific sounds that correspond to the body, mind and spirit.
UCSC Grateful Dead archivist reveals what’s behind locked doors and how he got there
Deep within an ultra-secret high-security room in UC Santa Cruz’s McHenry Library, Grateful Dead archivist Nicholas Meriwether patrols the inner sanctum of all things Dead—holding off the staggering collection from swallowing him whole.
So what’s behind closed doors?
One wall reveals the original artwork from the back of the band’s fourth studio album, Workingman’s Dead—beautiful charcoal drawings of the original Grateful Dead sextet. Endless boxes full of rare posters, concert tickets and laminates, hundreds of miles of business receipts, every book ever written on or mentioning the Grateful Dead, furniture from the headquarters of the band’s business office in San Rafael. Fans have contributed painted jackets, original blotter art and an army of dancing bears that bulge the seams of a jam-packed chamber that holds only 2 percent of the entire collection.
Editor’s note: In this week’s Poetry Corner, we feature the work of Douglas McClellan, who received his master of fine arts degree in Visual Arts in 1950. He taught art for 37 years at art institutes, colleges and UC Santa Cruz. His art has been widely exhibited including solo shows in Northern and Southern California, and group exhibitions on the East and West Coasts, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. He started writing poetry seriously at age 70 and has published six slender volumes. He currently alternates between digital collage and poetry. To learn more, visit dougstudio.com. The following poems are from the collection, “Exit Lines (semi official last words from the famous and otherwise).”
Bay Area author Bo Caldwell illuminates the harrowing lives of missionaries in pre-Communist Revolution China
Having personal experience with missionaries—my sister is currently a missionary in Taiwan—I have an understanding of both the risks and rewards that a life devoted to serving others entails. Spiritual rejection, sleepless nights and lack of funds are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to challenges that must be daily faced. However, to see the smiling faces of those who would have otherwise remained hungry or sick without receiving assistance is a reward, I’m told, that far outweighs even the most difficult hurdle. So when I saw that Bo Caldwell’s newly released novel, “City of Tranquil Light,” is a tale of missionaries serving in China, I was immediately drawn in. Luminous, heart wrenching and intricately detailed, the novel—told through the eyes of both Will and Katherine Keihn—is based loosely on the author’s real life grandparents as well as on other early missionaries to China.
Local bands sound off at new music festival to support AIDS Ride
When Keith Petrocelli was 8 years old, he was pulled aside and told that his estranged father died of AIDS. It was 1983, he was a Brooklyn kid living in Arizona, and he’d never met his dad. Because of AIDS, he never would. Suddenly he was thrust into a cause he wasn’t even old enough to fully wrap his head around.
Unconventional methods work for this new play
We all know the drill: the ushers seat the audience, the lights dim, the curtain goes up, and the play begins.
But what happens when all theatrical boundaries are removed, blurring the separation between the on-stage drama and reality, with no clear start or finish? Santa Cruz producer Alan Fox is determined to find out. Last week, Fox debuted his second career production, an original musical called “The Street”—think “Cabaret” meets Amsterdam’s Red Light District.