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Apr 19th
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Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 3

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Locally-produced short film program, ‘Only in Santa Cruz'

One of the responsibilities of any given film festival is to spotlight local talent, and this year’s shorts program, Only in Santa Cruz, which screened on Saturday, May 12 at the Nickelodeon, exists in that spirit—and, as is the case with many a short film program, this collective is a bit of a mixed bag.

It opens with Good Morning, Day!, in which several strangers interact while waiting for the bus and on the strange ride that follows; ultimately, it’s a potentially interesting concept rendered almost incomprehensible by its nauseating form. 

Thankfully, it’s followed by Matthew Anderson’s Franky, Frankly, a lovely and literate piece of work that features a trio of delicately articulate performances, including that of the film’s cigarette-smoking, scarf-wearing, Salinger-referencing protagonist. It’s a film that knowingly challenges the boundaries of preciousness, and yet it’s too earnest to be considered anything but romantic. It’s also happily rich in ambiguity, eschewing a narrative-resolving ending in favor of a gently symbolic one with a perfectly timed final shot. 

Rounding out the narrative offerings is Wil Gieseler’s Big Somewhere, its sincere pleasures unfortunately interrupted by technical hiccups (a discouraging trend). Anchored by a pair of fine performances, it follows its protagonist’s decision to leave his home in the middle of nowhere, and the emotional tug-of-war between there’s-no-place-like-home considerations and the longing for something more is an effective one, even if it wraps up a tad too neatly.

The trio of documentaries that close the program are all regrettably plagued by insipid editing cues. The first, Echoes of the Great Depression, a partial chronology of the Occupy Santa Cruz Movement, plays like a one-sided extended montage. Regardless of what side of the debate you fall on, it’s impossible to make a credible argument without letting the opposing side speak on its behalf. 

Next is Santa Cruz Reskilling Expo, which covers a MAH exhibition that teaches individuals about reskilling—“a remembering, reclaiming and reviving of skills that were known 50 to 75 years ago.” It’s a worthy subject, teaching individuals how to be self-sustainable, but the film would have benefited from following its subjects beyond the confines of the expo and into real-world practice. 

The final offering, The Cornholes, is a 41-minute inside joke about a show that ran on Community TV in Santa Cruz from 2003 to 2008. The film’s novelty wears off somewhere around the halfway mark; that said, the title of the entire program categorically fits the film’s subject matter like a glove.

 


For the complete Santa Cruz Film Festival schedule, visit santacruzfilmfestival.org.

 

 

 

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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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