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Nov 28th
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Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 9

film-supportingPhilips Patton’s ‘Santa Cruzin’’ and Daniel Schechter’s ‘Supporting Characters’

The penultimate day of this year’s edition of the Santa Cruz Film Festival would eventually yield the strongest narrative feature I’ve seen in the festival—Supporting Characters—but before that happened, I had to patiently wait out Philips Patton’s harmless but aimless Santa Cruzin’.

The locally-produced documentary was preceded by Doug Lenox’s narrative short film, Local Tourists, a deadpan, pitch-black comedy about despair that features a trio of wry performances, including one from the fantastic Raúl Castillo (who you may know from Aaron Katz’s 2010 film, Cold Weather).

Meanwhile, Santa Cruzin’ follows five youngish friends, who are each attempting in his or her own way, to live a life without the burden of a job. The documentary turns out to be similar to its subjects—it wanders toward a vague idea of a goal but never quite reaches it, for one reason or another. And while it refuses to treat its subjects with a condescending tone, it reveals little insight about them.

Both Local Tourists and Santa Cruzin’ are more or less about people of a certain generation. The difference, is that while the characters in the former have already gotten all the hopes and desires trampled out of them, the subjects of the latter have sincere dreams—but lack the drive to see them through.

The evening was capped off with Daniel Schechter’s Supporting Characters, a comedic drama (or dramatic comedy) about New York film editing partners balancing their personal relationships while reworking a movie in crisis. As one might expect, the film is well-edited— not only with a comfortable pace and flow, but an intuitive sense of when a scene should begin and end, and an understanding of the beat of a conversation. The strengths don’t end there, however, with a pair of excellent performances from Alex Karpovsky (of HBO’s masterpiece-in-progress Girls) and Tarik Lowe (who co-wrote the script with Schechter). This movie about making movies is occasionally inside-baseball, but is perfectly accessible nonetheless. And despite its premise, Supporting Characters never falls prey to the easy trap of self-referentialism—it leaves those too-cute meta-winks on the cutting room floor.


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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Film, Times & Events: Week of November 28

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