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Nov 26th
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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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Giving Thanks: The Thought-Form of Solution

We are in the time and under the influence of Sagittarius, sign of the wanderer, good food, good music, and the joy (Jupiter as ruler) that occurs from giving to others while simultaneously giving thanks from our hearts. Having the Thanksgiving holiday during the month of Sag is not a mistake. No other sign understands joy (an aspect of the Soul) as Sag (except Pisces when not in despair). “Sag is a beam of directed and focused light. The beam reveals a greater light ahead, illuminating the Way to the center of the Light,” emitting the Ray of Joyfulness. Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude; in the form of prayers, thoughts, feelings, wishes, hopes and greetings. Gratitude is something we still need to learn. Gratitude creates goodwill. Together, gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution” for humanity and our world’s problems. Gratitude and goodwill are the prerequisites for the reappearance of the Christ, the Aquarian World Teacher. In Ancient Wisdom texts it is written, “being grateful is the hallmark of one who is enlightened.” Gratitude comes from the Soul—the characteristics of which are love and wisdom (Ray 2). Gratitude is scientifically and occultly (mental, not emotional) a releasing agent. Gratitude liberates us and everything around us. Also a service to others, gratitude is deeply scientific in nature, releasing us from the past and laying open our future path leading to the new culture and civilization, the new laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarian, the Age of Friendship and Equality. The Hierarchy lays much emphasis upon gratitude. Let us be grateful this year and this season together. And so now the days of light illuminating the darkness begin (December’s festivals and feast days). Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am grateful for all of you, my readers.

 

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