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Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 6

heistFrances Causey & Donald Goldmacher’s ‘Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?’ and Turner Clay’s ‘State of Emergency’

On Tuesday—for the second time during the course of the Santa Cruz Film Festival—I caught up with a film that had eluded me at the Mill Valley Film Festival last fall, yet another reminder of just how much one inevitably misses at all these shindigs. In fact, it was at Mill Valley that Frances Causey and Donald Goldmacher’s Heist: Who Stole the American Dream? made its world premiere; at The Nickelodeon, the documentary screened to an audience that it hardly needed to convince.

The film, which was presented in a free community screening, reveals how American corporations orchestrated the dismantling of middle-class prosperity through rampant deregulation. If you don’t know what that means, you should have a better idea by the end of the film, even if it could do a better job of elaborating. This is, of course, an eminently worthy subject matter, but Heist feels less like a movie than it does a lecture, and a rushed one at that; it’s an entire curriculum crammed into a single lesson.

One would be hard-pressed to compose a double-feature more diametrically opposed than that of Heist and Turner Clay’s zombie outbreak effort, State of Emergency (unless one wants to draw apocalyptic parallels). Indeed, when I checked off the latter on my festival program, it was probably a subconscious hope on my part for a brief respite from Serious Festival Fare. So I was rather disappointed to find that, despite its premise, State of Emergency is a film that takes itself very seriously.

The feature was fittingly preceded by Todd Lundbohm’s short film Infection; the less said about it, the better—to say State of Emergency is an improvement is the faintest praise possible. Actually, the patient pace of State of Emergency would be a plus were it not for the dreadfully clunky dialogue, with stiff acting to match, save for a nice performance by Tori White, despite her inconsistent character. Sadly, the only outbreak of note in State of Emergency is that of iffy screenwriting.


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

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 12

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