Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 26th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 3


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




Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Gratitude—For Each New Morning With its Light

The full moon of Wednesday brings light to Thanksgiving (Thursday) under the Sagittarius Sun and Mercury. Mercury in Sag offers humanity the message (Mercury) of thankfulness and joy (Jupiter). No other sign represents food, music and joy better than Sagittarius (only Pisces, when not in despair). Beginning on Thanksgiving, we can list what we’re grateful for. Then we can continue the list, creating a daily Gratitude Journal. What we are grateful for always increases in our lives. On Thanksgiving Saturn/Neptune square (challenging) is in full effect. This can manifest as traditions not being honored, disappearing, falling away. It can also create a sense of sadness, confusion, of things not working out as planned. It’s best to be as simple as possible. And to focus on gratitude instead. Gratitude is a service to others. It is scientifically and occultly a releasing agent. Releasing us from the past, allowing our future—the new culture and civilization, the new Aquarian laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarius, the Age of Friendship and Equality—to come forth. Gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution for humanity and the world’s problems.” The hierarchy lays great emphasis upon expressing gratitude. Gratitude illuminates all that is in darkness. Let us be grateful during this season together. Being, for others, the light that illuminates the darkness. A Poem by R.W. Emerson: We are grateful … “For each new morning with its light/For rest and shelter of the night/For health and food/For love and friends/For everything thy goodness sends.” (poem by R.W. Emerson). I am grateful for my family of readers.


The New Tech Nexus

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


Pluck of the Irish

Mid-century immigrant tale engagingly told in ‘Brooklyn’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Second Street Café

Pies and tarts for all tastes—from traditional to adventurous


How are you preparing for El Niño?

Getting ready to buy some rain gear. Cory Pickering, Santa Cruz, Teaching Assistant


Fortino Winery

Cabernet and superb fruit wine from Fortino Winery


Tap Dance

West End Tap & Kitchen’s impressive menu to expand to Eastside location