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Sep 30th
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Reviews and Times

Film - Reviews and Times

Anime Of the People

Anime Of the People

Miyazaki craftsmanship tells small-scale story in 'Poppy Hill'

The latest from Japanese anime master Hayao Miyazaki's famed Studio Ghibli is From Up On Poppy Hill. Directed by Goro Miyazaki, the maestro's son, it's an unusual outing for Ghibli in that the story features no overt eco-advocacy message nor any magical, otherworldly elements like gods, demons, or witches. Instead, it's a simply-told tale of two Yokohama teenagers facing life-sized issues of identity, loss, and love in the real world.

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Film - Reviews and Times

Film, Times & Events: Week of Apr. 04, 2013

Film, Times & Events: Week of Apr. 04, 2013

Films This Week
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Film - Reviews and Times

Opposites Attract

Opposites Attract

Love vs. gravity in charming, implausible sci-fi romance, 'Upside Down'

If Upside Down were in print, it would be an outline, not a complete novel. The grand sweep of the story is there, the big, climactic scenes are all plotted out exactly where they should be, and marvelous, fanciful, poetic images decorate key passages. What's missing from Juan Solanas' ambitious, interplanetary sci-fi romance are the details—the solid conceptual underpinning that would make it all plausible, and a final polish on the dialogue that would bring the characters and their unique story to life.

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Film - Reviews and Times

Wild Things

Wild Things

Authentic girls' voices highlight coming-of-age drama 'Ginger & Rosa'

Just in time for the end of Women's History Month comes Sally Potter's thoughtful and involving Ginger & Rosa. Very much a "woman's movie," with its emotional, relationship-driven storyline, it also has a distinct historical setting—London in 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis—as the backdrop before which its two teenage protagonists struggle to come of age. And while the plot may seem a bit far-fetched at times, there's something so touching about the authenticity of these young female voices and their nameless, formless yearning that will speak to anyone who has ever been a 17-year-old girl.

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Film - Reviews and Times

Film, Times & Events: Week of Mar. 28th, 2013

Film, Times & Events: Week of Mar. 28th, 2013

Films This Week
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Film - Reviews and Times

Detour

Detour

Ideas vs melodrama in meandering beat odyssey 'On the Road'

There are about 45 minutes of a great movie in Walter Salles' adaptation of On the Road, the thinly fictionalized Jack Kerouac novel/memoir that helped define the beat generation of the early  1950s. These occur mainly at the beginning of the film, informed by the writer protagonist's narration, when the characters are first meeting up and hanging out, pinging ideas, dreams, and creative energy off of each other like random electrical charges, and in the final reflective scenes, when the writer lets go of his last illusions and starts hammering out Kerouac's spontaneous "bop" prose on the typewriter.

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Film - Reviews and Times

Film, Times & Events: Week of Mar. 14th, 2013

Film, Times & Events: Week of Mar. 14th, 2013

Films This Week
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Film - Reviews and Times

Wiz-craft

Wiz-craft

Despite dubious plotting, Disney's 'Oz' a mostly entertaining trip

How did the Witch of the West get so wicked? If you know Gregory Maguire's novel, “Wicked,” or the stage musical, you know one version of the story of the magical land of Oz before Dorothy touched down in her flying house. And now that the Disney corporation is buying up the rights to every fantasy property ever conceived (from the Pixar animation studio to the Star Wars universe), it's offering its own take on the material in the lavish Oz the Great and Powerful, which imagines the witches and the wizard of Oz in their heedless youth.

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Film - Reviews and Times

Film, Times & Events: Week of Mar. 7th, 2013

Film, Times & Events: Week of Mar. 7th, 2013

Films This Week
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Film - Reviews and Times

Docs in the Box

Docs in the Box

East German doctors strive for freedom, conscience in thoughtful 'Barbara'

Grand heroic dramas are often made about the quest for freedom in a time and place of political repression. At first glance, it looks like the German film, Barbara, is going to be one of them. Set in the last decade under Communist rule in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the story concerns a sophisticated female doctor from Berlin banished to a backwoods country hospital for political reasons. But as it plays out, this quiet, personal, deftly nuanced little drama turns into something far more affecting than the expected political thriller.

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Reflecting Glass

Composer Philip Glass’ first trip to Big Sur was by motorcycle; little did he know that he’d establish a music festival there six decades later.

 

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, occurs this year during Libra, the sign of creating right relations with all aspects life and with earth’s kingdoms. We contemplate (the Libra meditation) forgiveness, which means, “to give for another.” Forgiveness is not pardon. It’s a sacrifice (fire in the heart, giving from the heart). Forgiveness is giving up for the good of the other. This is the law of evolution (the path of return).

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of September 26

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Wurst Case Scenario

Venus Spirits releases agave spirit, Renee Shepherd on planting garlic, Sausagefest 2014, and wine harvest in full swing

 

Do you think you are addicted to technology?

Santa Cruz  |  Unemployed

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Apricot Wine for Dessert

Thomas Kruse Winery, a participant in the new Santa Clara Wine Trail, has been around for a long time—since 1971, to be exact. When our little group arrived to try some wine at the Kruses’ low-key tasting room, Thomas Kruse and his wife Karen were there to greet us. Theirs is a small operation, and they’re proud to offer quality wine at affordable prices. “Because we are small and low-tech, it’s easy to relate to the whole winemaking process,” says Karen—and the Kruses take pride in making wine “just like it has been made for centuries.”