Last week, I led a Q&A with Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, the directors of the new Battle of the Sexes, after a screening at the Nick. It was my first time seeing the film, which is a complex but fun look at the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, and maybe the most subversive sports movie I’ve ever seen (read Lisa Jensen’s review).
Faris and Dayton, previously best known for their debut film Little Miss Sunshine, are obviously not your typical Hollywood people—and their Q&A responses were thoughtful and full of insightful behind-the-scenes secrets—but I have to say, what impressed me the most was the crowd. I’ve been part of quite a few events like this, and rarely are the questions from the audience as on-point as they were at the Nick Q&A. A couple of times, the audience questions were almost word-for-word something I was planning to ask them, and I’m supposed to be doing this professionally! (Jury’s still out on that.)
My point is simply that Santa Cruz has great film people—which, yeah, I already knew, but this was a nice reminder going into what has oddly become film festival season in Santa Cruz County. The Watsonville Film Festival (Oct. 5-8) and Santa Cruz Film Festival (Oct. 11-15) are both imminent, and in this week’s cover story I explain why the theme of “movies about movies”—and, more generally, “movies about art”—that pops up in many of this year’s entries (at both festivals!) is one that intrigues me so much. Hope to see you at the Mello Center this week, and the Tannery Arts Center next week!
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Letters to the Editor
The Motherpeace Has Landed
Re: Fashion Issue (GT, 9/20): Great news about Vicki Noble and the Motherpeace [tarot deck]!
About 25 years ago, I went to a women’s circle where the Motherpeace was being used for inspiration and self-reflection. It was my first experience of alternative, new interpretations of the tarot, and it was truly a life-changing evening!
I have turned to it for help and understanding ever since. Over the years, I have found and appreciated other decks and oracular tools as well, but the Motherpeace is, and always will be, my main squeeze in the world of divination and psychic awareness.
Kudos and congratulations to Vicki and her persistent vision and courageous, outward expression in this world we share.
Your article with Phil Coturri (GT, 9/6) raises some good questions about marijuana but they need a deeper look.
He is right about the effects commercialization will have on medical and recreational marijuana. An article published on Aug. 30 stated that of the samples tested at Anresco Labs for the Bay Area Hempcon, 80 percent tested positive for pesticides, fungicides and/or molds and microbes. This is a huge problem. I was Agricultural Director at WAMM for 20 years, and it was my job to ensure that our members received the highest quality, safest medicine. I did this by growing organic and never using any chemicals in any form. Lab testing did not exist at the time so it was the only way to be sure the medicine was clean.
Since then, a lot of people have come into this “industry” because of the allure of big money. As a result, there is a general lowering of standards, to the detriment of patients/consumers. Mr. Coturri also mentions the issue of genetic quality, which is as important as testing clean. I know breeders, myself included, that work to preserve land race strains—or, as some folks like to say, heirloom strains. We also work to hybridize new strains to improve them for medical use.
Mr. Coturri talks about the regulations as part of the problem. He is right. I know some form of regulation is needed, but only because the government made marijuana illegal in the first place. This created the black market as we know it. Also, the government has been involved in price fixing. This was stated explicitly by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals during the WAMM lawsuit. It was done to keep prices artificially high. Thus, we have the costs of today.
The regulations will also put a target on the backs of folks who grow, but don’t want to be in the system. Those crops not registered will be easily found and eradicated. That doesn’t mean those growers are bad, just not registered. Although there are plenty of bad apples, as they say. At the moment, I am only cultivating true-to-type stable genetics for seed sales. I feel this is a way that I can have input into keeping higher standards, which was my original goal in the first place.
I urge all patients/consumers to put pressure on cultivators and sellers to operate with the highest ethics possible. It will be for the benefit of all. And my use of the words “high” and “highest” were puns intended.
Mike Corral | Director, Fenix Genetix | SANTA CRUZ