Now that the mind-numbing season of summer blockbusters has come to an end, and the more provocative fall films have only started making their appearance, what is there to do in the meantime? How about cruising over to downtown San Diego to watch some independent films?
The third annual San Diego Film Festival will be held in the Gaslamp Quarter between Sept. 29 and Oct. 3. The fest will feature 80 film screenings, including 22 feature films, five documentaries and 53 shorts. All films will be screened at the Pacific Gaslamp 15 Theatre, located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and G Street. In addition, there will be six panels and seminars, a glamorous red carpet opening celebration and several 21-and-over festival parties.
More than 1,200 entries were submitted this year, and the 80 that were ultimately chosen encompass the gamut of film genres.
These morsels include comedies, dramas, thrillers, romances, personal memoirs, a film noir, a western and “The Hunting of the President,” a documentary exploring political lynching as director Harry Thomason follows the effort to discredit former President Bill Clinton.
This year’s program is bound to please even the most selective moviegoers. The lighter features include the romantic comedy “Angels with an Attitude.” In the film, a blues singer, a drag queen and a beauty queen — all of whom are angels — attempt to outmaneuver each other in order to find redemption in love.
“Bad Meat” tells the story of two ill-fated lovers who try to kidnap a U.S. Congressman (played by none other than Chevy Chase) for ransom.
“Nothing Without You” documents a man’s experiment in community as he sets out in the nude and without water, food or a single possession to the Burning Man Festival in the Nevada desert and observes whether other people will provide him with necessities to survive for a week.
In the drama “Beat the Drum,” a nine-year-old Zulu boy takes a journey across Africa after he loses both of his parents to AIDS. “Around the Bend” features a top-notch cast, including Michael Caine and Christopher Walken, and focuses on a random meeting of four generations of men who must uncover the truth about their family’s past. “Never Been Done” spotlights the life of Jon Comer, the first professional skateboarder with a prosthetic leg. “Negroes with Guns: Rob Williams and Black Power” is a documentary about the overlooked civil rights figure who called for armed resistance against the violent Jim Crow South.
Fourteen-year-old Celeste Davis stars in “Purgatory House,” a film she wrote about a lonely teenage girl who leaves behind her chaotic, drug-tainted life to look for love in the afterlife. In director Brad Anderson’s “The Machinist,” Trevor (a physically deprived Christian Bale) is suffering from insomnia and questions his sanity after he starts to see an imaginary co-worker at the machine shop where he works. The documentary “Tying the Knot” trails the political clash between gay people who want to marry and others who are determined to prevent gay unions.
The short film collection is separated into eight categories: “You Laughing At Me?” contains adult comedy with films like “A Funny Thing Happened at the Quick Mart” and “Perils in Nude Modeling”; “Got Comedy?” comprises general audience comedies such as “One of the Oldest Con Games” and “The Last Butterfinger”; “Life Cuts Like a Knife” is a category of adult dramas like “Getaway Ben” and “Mind Game”; “In the Moment” is general audience drama, such as “Chasing Daylight” and “Natural Selection”; “Celluloid I” and “Celluloid II” feature San Diego filmmakers with shorts like “The Martyr” and “My Beautiful Wickedness,” and the last set consists of “Innovative Videos in Education.”
The seminars and panels will take place on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3. On Oct. 2 there will be a writer’s boot camp, a panel discussion on how to make a successful short film and an acting session with four film and television stars.
The following day will include a panel discussing the casting process and a step-by-step guide for nailing auditions, a seminar in which prominent talent agents will discuss their business and a discussion of what it takes to make an independent film.
Festival passes range from the $250 all-access VIP pass to a $60 screening pass, and individual tickets cost $10.
However, students receive a 20-percent discount on all passes. Typically more than 15,000 individuals attend the five-day event, and seating is limited for each screening, so tickets sell out quickly.
To purchase passes, to look at the film schedule or to find other pertinent information about parking or venues, check out the festival website at http://www.sdff.org.
With a ticket in hand, you will be free to enjoy the perks of being an insider in the forum of independent film, and you might also rouse your mind from its summer slumber.
UCSD sent out an erroneous e-mail Monday inviting all students who had applied for Fall Quarter 2009 to their college orientation 'mdash; even those who had been rejected.
'The minute the e-mails were sent out, we noted that it was sent to a much larger pool than was admitted,' Admissions Director Mae Brown said in a statement. 'We immediately recognized the error.'
The invitations were intended for the 18,000 students who were accepted by the university, but were instead sent to all 47,000 students who applied, Brown said.
'We're thrilled that you've been admitted to [UCSD], and we're showcasing our beautiful campus on Admit Day,' the e-mail read.
Within two hours, Brown sent an e-mail apologizing for any distress the mistake may have caused students.
'In all humility, I ask that you please accept my apologies and those of [UCSD], and know that we continue to wish you success in your educational pursuits,' she wrote.
Many parents have complained that the e-mail added insult to injury for students who were already overwrought by the college application process. Brown said every admissions officer was on hand to take phone calls from applicants and their parents on Tuesday, adding that she stayed at her office until midnight on Monday, responding to e-mails and phone messages.
'They are deeply concerned that we have been insensitive in that we already denied this student and then sent them a notice inviting them to Admit Day,' Brown said. 'They are upset that happened, and rightly so.'
Brown said a complete review of the situation was currently under way.
UCSD’s dish-deposit Toby Spots program has been discontinued this Fall Quarter in favor of new recyclable ware. Associate Director for Dining and Retail Services Steve Cassad said the Housing, Dining and Hospitality Department expects that the recyclable dishware will be beneficial to the environment and easily disposed of.
WOMEN'S SOCCER 'mdash; Senior forward Natasha Belak-Berger scored No. 19 UCSD's lone goal in a 3-1 loss to No. 4 Seattle Pacific as the Tritons made their exit from the Division-II National Championships.
Playing in the postseason for the 22nd time in 23 years, the Tritons notched a first-round victory over BYU-Hawaii 1-0 in double overtime two days before being bounced by the Falcons.
The Tritons finish their season 15-4-4 with a California Collegiate Athletic Association crown and a promising future.
Head coach Brian McManus gave credit to the seniors for helping a young squad mix and get to a level no one expected the team to achieve.
'No one knew what to expect to start the season,' he said. 'To get where we did was tremendous.'
Seattle Pacific drew first blood with a 30-yard strike to the right corner in the 27th minute. The Falcons would strike again only 22 seconds before halftime. With time ticking down, Seattle Pacific drew a corner kick and was able to get a head on it to slip it by Triton senior goalkeeper Jessica McGovern.
It took only another three minutes out of the half for Seattle Pacific to score again on a ball that was tipped by UCSD's senior defenseman Amanda Esquivel for an own-goal, according to McManus.
McManus said the team reacted well to the goal right before halftime, but the quick goal in the second half was the killer.
'We went into the locker room thinking that there was no reason to panic,' he said. 'We were still in the game. If we would have got through the first 15 minutes of the second half, we would've had a better chance.'
Belak-Berger scored her final goal as a Triton in the 79th minute as she maneuvered her way into the box, dribbling through three Falcon defenders and sending a well-placed shot to the back left corner of the net. It was her team-high 13th goal of the season.
The Tritons had another chance to pull within only one when freshman Anne Wethe slipped her way past the Seattle Pacific defense and drilled a ball just wide of the net. The shot, had it gone in, would've given the Tritons a serious opportunity to steal the game, McManus said.
'I know [Seattle Pacific's] coach and he panics,' he said. 'He tells the team to just kick the ball toward the end of games and that's when our chances came. To be fair, Seattle Pacific had an excellent team and they were in the Final Four last year. I expect the winner of its game against Western Washington to make it back to the Final Four this year.'
The Triton defense had only surrendered three goals in the last seven games combined before allowing three against Seattle Pacific. It was the first time since the 2005 campaign that UCSD has allowed three goals in one game.
McManus said the Tritons' grueling schedule of six games proved to be too much for UCSD, especially facing a rested Seattle Pacific squad.
'The CCAA Championship was the final straw,' he said. 'With the double-overtime win on Thursday, our legs were gone. Credit our team though as it kept playing thos
e final 15 minutes the way they did. We took it to them.'
UCSD prevailed in its fifth double-overtime match of the season as freshman forward Shelby Wong netted her first career goal to lift the Tritons over BYU-Hawaii. She received the through pass from fellow freshman forward Sarah McTigue in the box, getting a one-on-one opportunity with the Seasider goalkeeper.
From there it was all Wong, who put a one-touch on the ball and drilled it past the goalkeeper for the golden goal.
With the departure of five seniors, it will be up to those 14 freshmen, the newcomers and the rest of the returning squad to battle out for the starting positions.
'Lexi [Zattarain] will be a senior and Lisa Bradley will be a junior next year,' McManus said. 'They're our oldest returning starters. This year was hard, but next year is going to be 100 times harder.'
It is normal to have second thoughts when asked to see a one-man show with 18 characters. It reeks of a crazy actor caught up in long, self-involved monologues. However, the Diversionary Theater's latest production, ""Another American: Asking and Telling,"" which explores the ""don't ask, don't tell"" policy in the American military, is surprisingly entertaining and draws in the audience through various characters, who range from being heartbreaking to hilarious ‹ often at the same time.
Playwright Marc Wolf spent three years traveling across America and interviewing many people, including gay and lesbian military personnel, federal judges, civil rights lawyers, veterans of various wars, politicians, activists and professors of sociology, constitutional law and military history. The interviews were taped, transcribed and then edited into monologues using each person's own words to construct the text for the play. His play succeeds in cutting into the individuals' words at that moment when they most cogently learned something about themselves. At that point, they become characters, speaking the unvarnished truth ‹ and, in the case of ""Another American,"" bringing new insight into the psychological cost of silence to individuals and to the country they serve.
Actor, Russell Garrett delivers a brilliant performance. Two hours of solid monologues would tire any actor out, but he manages to solidly perform. A very minimalist set, including a glass of water, a desk and a chair, brings even more focus to the different characters Garrett portrays. He has a very natural way of portraying the numerous characters, managing to morph effortlessly from a Southern belle to a soft-spoken marine to a screaming lawyer. This ease lets the audience forget that there is only one person on the stage. After a while, each of the characters become so separate it seems as if there were 18 different actors. The play's success lies in this ability to pull off such a difficult accomplishment.
This play is a must-see if you are in the mood for something heavier than the latest Hollywood comedy. Wolf's script manages to bring a contentious, if suppressed, issue to light and serves as a blueprint for a lively and emotional evening of theater. Tickets are available for $20 through the Diversionary Theater box office at (619) 220-0097.
With colleges scrambling to pass resolutions in response to Herrick v. Warren College Student Council, one can't help but re-evaluate Earl Warren College and its choice to stand alone in attempting to deny the Asian-Pacific Islander Student Alliance funding.
The controversy surrounding the case, in which Warren Freshman Senator Matt Herrick sought to halt Warren's allocating $150 of the APSA’s 11th-annual high school conference, draws to the forefront the issue of colleges financing events that do not directly benefit itss students. And while the Warren College Judicial Board correctly ruled in favor of WCSC, Herrick's case brought some much needed scrutiny specifically to Warren College's funding practices. The case underscores both the arbitrary nature of Warren's funding process and the need to reform its financial bylaws.
A member of the Student Affirmative Action Committee, APSA is a campuswide organization. WCSC receives thousands of dollars in funding from its students WCSC financial bylaws are meant to protect their rights. However, it’s inevitable that Warren programs benefit other UCSD students as well. Black Hall, an apartment complex located in Warren, is almost entirely dedicated to all-campus housing, and its community shares in all the same programs and events as Warren students. Resident advisors and staff in the Warren Office of Residential Life aren't necessarily from Warren College, but benefit from and are in charge of vast college resources. Since students from all across campus have contributed in part to Warren College and benefited in turn, allowances should be made when funding reaches past students who are obviously Warrenites. A campus as partitioned as UCSD should not focus on the mere label assigned on college applications, but instead recall that UCSD is a community where resources should be put to work where they are needed most.
Many other worthwhile programs funded by WCSC are also of little direct benefit to Warren students as a whole. For example, Warren's recent funding allocation to allow the UCSD Mock Trial team to participate in a regional competition benefits only a minority of Warren students involved in this all-campus organization. However, like the APSA conference, the event greatly benefits the students who participate, allowing those members to reach out to high school students or stimulate their minds through competition. This provides just as much for students as barbecues and dances, regardless of college affiliation. The opportunity to serve and interact with the community should actually be viewed as a much-needed privilege, and an experience of more profound and impactful than a mere barbecue. What better way to help Warren students, or any students for that matter, than to educate their very characters? After all, these are our future leaders and teachers.
While the Judicial Board ultimately rejected Herrick's case, his initiative did help raise the question of Warren's funding — an issue that has been swept under the carpet for too long. Unfortunately, the question broached during Herrick v. WCSC was not new. In the very first meeting of the 2004-05 school year, a councilmember inquired about the limitations imposed by WCSC regarding funding, as financial bylaws were suspended the previous year on a regular basis to allow the council to sponsor external events. Revising Warren's ambiguous financial bylaws could have prevented much of the hassle the council faced.
Herrick v. WCSC isn't the only problem the council has had with funding in recent years. Since it is the only college without funding caps, Warren has alternately been accused of over- and under-funding events and programs. This year, WCSC has struggled to achieve an appropriate level of expenditure, an especially delicate matter given the passage of last year's $4/quarter student activity fee referendum.
One example of Warren’s inadequate funding mechanism is its lack of adequate representation. A large number of councilmembers — both appointed and elected — are Earl Warren residents. Earlier this quarter, Warren Student Activities Coordinator Brian Willess spoke at a WCSC meeting regarding the granting of funding requests disproportionately in favor of events benefiting on-campus students versus commuters, despite the latter group being responsible for approximately 76 percent of referendum-mandated WCSC income.
Citing the veto of a commuter barbecue and the passage of larger-scale residential programs, Willess reminded the council to keep all parts of the Warren community in consideration. Although steps have been taken to remedy this through the initialization of a Warren Transfer Commuter Commission, an event such as the APSA-sponsored high school conference is unfortunately exactly the type of event that would not specifically benefit on-campus Warren students.
Compared to the WCSC’s income of $64,979 — including over $3,000 pledged to APSA-like external activities — the fuss generated over a comparatively small amount of funds seems downright silly. Instead of seeing this as a slight to outreach programming, we should commend the system for allowing a single student to speak up and ask hard questions about funding allocation. Right or wrong, Herrick was able to break the monotony of easy, politically correct head-nodding, bringing the letter of the law to attention. As a result, Warren can now reform its bylaws accordingly or adjust its policy in the future. And while the Judicial Board may have sided with WCSC, the new focus on college constitutions and bylaws will hopefully cause students all over campus to re-evaluate some of the core issues of their colleges.
Former Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren once said, “It is the spirit and not the form of the law that keeps justice alive,” and in this case, it is the purpose of WCSC, as well as other student councils across UCSD, to aid not just one group of students, but all.
Monday, Oct. 29
12:44 a.m.: Officers impounded a gray 1986 Honda Accord from Miramar Street for more than five unpaid parking citations. Stored at Star Towing.
3:15 a.m.: Officers impounded a brown 1973 Lincoln Continental from Nobel Drive for registration expired over six months.
1:31 p.m.: A staff member reported the theft of a computer part from IR/PS. Loss: $50.
7:20 p.m.: A 17-year-old female student suffered abdominal pain at Solis Hall. Transported to Thornton Hospital by paramedics.
Tuesday, Oct. 30
2:46 a.m.: A 32-year-old male nonaffiliate was arrested at Lot 354 for driving under the influence of alcohol. Transported to Central Jail.
10:52 a.m.: A 20-year-old female student suffered from malnutrition at CLICS. Transported to Kaiser by paramedics.
12:49 p.m.: A staff member reported the theft of a wallet from Nierenberg Hall. Loss: $30.
11:15 p.m.: A 22-year-old male nonaffiliate was arrested at La Jolla Village Drive for an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. Transported to City Jail.
11:30 p.m.: A student reported the theft of a black Trek mountain bike from Black Hall. Loss: $500.
Wednesday, Oct. 31
12:55 p.m.: A 55-year-old male nonaffiliate was arrested for grand theft, theft and burglary of the UCSD Bookstore. Booked in Central Jail. Bail: $5,000.
2:30 p.m.: A 19-year-old male student suffered a knee injury and fainted at York Hall. Transported to Thornton Hospital by paramedics.
10:36 p.m.: An 18-year-old female student suffered alcohol poisoning in Lot 208. Transported to Scripps Memorial Hospital by paramedics.
Thursday, Nov. 1
9:55 a.m.: A student reported sexual battery east of Solis Hall.
1:20 p.m.: A 43-year-old nonaffiliate was arrested at the Glider Port on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for possession of controlled substance. Cited and released.
6:40 p.m.: A student reported burglary to a white 2001 Ford F-150 in Lot 102. Loss: $200.
10:40 p.m.: A 22-year-old male nonaffiliate was arrested for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana in Lot 502. Cited and released.
Friday, Nov. 2
10 a.m.: An 18-year-old female student was arrested at the UCSD Bookstore for petty theft. Cited and released.
4:07 p.m.: A staff member reported burglary to a blue 1993 Ford Escort in Lot 601. Loss: $250.
3:40 p.m.: A student reported the burglary of a stereo faceplate and radar detector in Lot 357. Loss: $290.
4:34 p.m.: A student reported burglary to a gray 1996 GMC Jimmy in Lot 603. Loss: $163.
4:36 p.m.: A student reported the attempted theft of a white 2001 Ford F-150 in Lot 102. Loss: $700.
7:03 p.m.: A student reported burglary to a black 1997 Toyota Corolla in Lot 604. Loss: $200.
10:15 p.m.: A 20-year-old male student was arrested for being a minor in possession of alcohol in Lot 403. Cited and released.
Saturday, Nov. 3
12:02 a.m.: An 18-year-old female student suffered alcohol poisoning at Tioga Hall. Transported to Thornton Hospital by paramedics.
2 a.m.: A student reported burglary to a maroon 1989 Isuzu Trooper in Lot 102. Loss: $200.
2:05 a.m.: A student reported burglary to a red 1991 VW Jetta in Lot 608. Loss: $150.
2:37 a.m.: A 29-year-old nonaffiliate was detained for being drunk in public at Pepper Canyon Apartments. Transported to detox.
8:55 a.m.: A staff member reported burglary to a gray 1993 Honda Accord in Lot 604. Loss: $250.
--Compiled by Carlan Wendler
Senior Staff Writer
For a long time, I was not that big on patriotism. Shortly after I became interested in politics (which was pretty early on in a family that had me reciting the presidents in chronological order as a requirement for leaving the dinner table), it seemed to me that the intelligent people in the world of politics were always criticizing everything U.S. politicians said or did.
Even later, when I realized that the only thing that a lot of political journalists do is criticize, the gusty patriotism that I encountered was always entangled in catch phrases like ""American values"" and the ""American dream,"" concepts and ideals that I had trouble relating with anything concrete.
I was growing up in a world where politicians had a bad name. They lied, cheated, did anything to get ahead, and could be bought and sold at the bidding of anyone with a deep enough wallet. Being proud of America seemed an endorsement of the people running it, and there was not a lot of reason to be backing people who had scandals following them right and left.
And of course, there is a huge amount of historical baggage. There is slavery, internment camps, sexism, discrimination and a constitution that has slaves listed as three-fifths of a person. More recently, there is the invasion of dozens of South American countries for reasons that are at best questionable. Being proud of those actions would seemingly make someone a bigot, a racist or simply a jerk. I like to think of myself as someone who falls into those categories as little as possible.
So there I was, feeling jaded and cynical about politics and subsequently bitter toward those who could not see that patriotism was an ignorant waste of time. Most of my peers felt the same way. That kind of attitude was tested in my first college political science course in which we were asked to rank ourselves on a scale of one to five in a number of different areas. The professor asked how passionate we were regarding different issues and to rank our interest in politics, as well as how left or right we were -- with conservative as one and liberal as five. I was, predictably, a five. Then he asked us to rank our patriotism, one being low and five being high. I hesitated, then put down a two.
But it did not feel right. After all, I had been out of the country. I had seen the poverty of third-world countries, as well as the sheer political corruption of certain European nations, yet surely patriotism was not derived from disliking aspects of other countries. Besides, there is poverty and corruption within U.S. borders that may be better hidden but cannot be ignored.
Like no small number of political issues, what eventually changed my mind was a discussion with my dad. One night I asked him if he considered himself to be patriotic. Besides being a very intelligent guy, my dad worked in the state department with the Foreign Service for years, two of which were spent working in West Germany in the early 1980s. Asking him was more than asking someone I respected; it was asking the opinion of someone who had the opportunity to see American values from a variety of angles and perspectives.
""I consider myself very patriotic,"" he said. ""Overall, I'm very proud of the actions of America over the past 200 years."" He went on to talk about the founding principles and how many of them have endured since the inception of the Constitution, launched into an explanation of early foreign policies, and discussed the way that Americans feel connected to each other through values as opposed to heritage. Suddenly being patriotic did not seem like such an awkward thing anymore.
Lest I seem insensitive, I do not want to imply that the Bill of Rights somehow nullifies the horror of slavery. I am not trying to argue that the do-it-yourself attitude of America cancels out the racism and sexism of the past (and present). I am certainly not proud of all American actions. Conversely, I would hesitate to respect any kind of patriotism based on the blind assumption that American actions are always right and unquestionable. But as a result of that conversation, I have come to look at patriotism differently. I have learned to look at things I took for granted.
There are a lot of things in American politics that anger me, from slavery to the war on terrorism. But patriotism and accepting those actions no longer seem mutually exclusive. It is a country based on ideas of equality and justice on the freedom of speech, religion, expression and the right of the people to petition their government for a redress of grievances. It is a country that allows a huge amount of immigration and, to an extent much larger than most, allows those immigrants to gain citizenship.
Even if those founding ideals are sometimes violated or twisted, and even if this country has committed terrible acts of devastation and horror, I think I can consider myself patriotic. I think I can accept the idea that even though there are people in power that I dislike and are actions being taken that I find objectionable, I still have rights and freedoms that are admirable overall. Regardless of infractions and infringements of those founding ideals, the concept of liberty lives on. The fact is that this is a country in which it is worth struggling to find patriotism.