Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Feb 01st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 10

film-oldClosing Night: Signing off from the 11th annual

Kurt Kuenne’s Shuffle and Mary Liz Thomson’s Who Bombed Judi Bari? were the notable winners on closing night of this year’s Santa Cruz Film Festival, taking the prize for Best Narrative Feature and the Morton Marcus Best Documentary Feature respectively, as voted by audiences. The former is a film I quite enjoyed and makes for a worthy winner, even if I might have cast my vote in another direction. Meanwhile, the latter is one I unfortunately missed; as much as I would have liked to see (and write about) every single film in the festival, I am but one man.

However, I did make it a point to catch a pair of films on Saturday afternoon and evening at the Del Mar Theatre, the first of which was Nina Koocher’s Under the Boardwalk: A Ukulele Love Story. The locally-produced documentary focuses on the local ukulele community, in particular the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz. The film captures its subjects having a great deal of fun, but that joy doesn’t entirely translate beyond the screen to the audience, largely because of the film’s unrefined craft. (On a related side note, there was an epidemic of truly dreadful title and credit design in this year’s locally-produced films—less is more, filmmakers.) That said, the film did take the prize for Best Locally Produced Work—but if I’m being brutally honest, what was the competition?

Following that, the closing night film was Walter Matteson’s Pretty Old, which I wrote about in the current issue of Good Times. Saturday evening was actually my second time watching the film, but as you can imagine, it played even better on the big screen than it did when I viewed it on my laptop prior to the festival. Upon that initial viewing, I suspected that the documentary—about a senior beauty pageant—would be a consummate crowd-pleaser, and the Del Mar audience reacted accordingly; keep an eye out for it. It was also a pleasure to meet Matteson in person after having interviewed him by phone when he was halfway around the world; he’s just a tremendously nice and exceptionally genuine person. I cannot think of a higher compliment for his film than to say it is entirely representative of the filmmaker himself.

Finally, a comment on the festival as a whole. While this year’s crop of films yielded mixed results, there were more than a few distinct highlights, which film festival junkies will know is far from faint praise. But because its program is a legitimately attractive one, the festival itself needs to get better. The 11th year of this event was marred by technical issue after technical issue, and while technical issues are a natural consequence during any given film festival, such issues can and should be remedied well ahead of time, rather than shortly before screenings, which resulted in one late start after another. It’s difficult to say whether or not these technical problems impacted the solid, but frankly underwhelming, festival attendance, but one has to believe that if they build it (to its full potential), they will come. And honestly, it’s a shame that more didn’t, because these films deserve better.


For the complete Santa Cruz Film Festival schedule, visit santacruzfilmfestival.orgPHOTO CREDIT: Magnus Wennman

Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by Disgruntled Filmmaker, May 23, 2012
The film "community" is teetering on the brink of destruction here in Santa Cruz, despite showing flashes of brilliance and potential in the past. Maybe it's for the best ultimately, since there's only so much pretentiousness & misplaced priorities that can exist before the whole thing comes crashing down. As a local filmmaker that has helped since day one of the formation of this festival and has wrestled with this for years, I find myself taking an indefinite hiatus more out of frustration from lack of a viable local outlet than anything. Perhaps it's time for the SCFF to do the same.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Jeffrey’s Restaurant

Why quick and friendly service matters at a local diner.

 

If you didn't live in Santa Cruz, where would you be living?

I would live in Kauai because the water is warmer, and I just love it there. Maureen Niehaus, Santa Cruz, Dental Assistant

 

Clos LaChance Wines

Pinot Noir 2012

 

Striking Gold

A taste of Soquel Vineyards’ five gold medal-winning Pinots