Thursday, April 28, 2011

SCFF: TAKE TEN


Ten years in the making! Believe it or not, the Santa Cruz Film Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, May 5 - May 14, with a typically full slate of cinematic goodies: 100 films and videos, of local and international origin—shorts and features, documentaries and narrative fiction, animation and live-action, commercial and experimental—along with film panels, gala receptions and other special events, presented at five venues around town.


This year's feature films are offered in a variety of sub-genres, including Cine Latino (films about the Latino experience worldwide), and, once again, a slate of eco-environmental documentaries presented in partnership with EarthVision. As in past years, cash awards will be offered in three juried competition categories: Documentary, Narrative, and the EarthVision Environmental Documentary. New this year is a competition for the Spirit of Action Prize, to be awarded to an outstanding film about a person or organization advocating for change. (Read more, and find out about half a dozen SCFF films you won't want to miss!)



COMFORT ZONES


Yo, yo, yo, Randy Jackson said it, not me. Last night on American Idol, the veteran judge told James Durbin, "I think you just might win this whole thing!," after James' sylish, inventive rendition of the old Ronettes tune, "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" It was Carole King Night, and while everyone else in the Final 6 were trying to step it up a notch and move out of their comfort zones, James proved once again that he doesn't have just one comfort zone—he's comfortable anywhere, all tempos, all musical genres.


The King songbook includes not only her solo work, but a decade of hit songs written for early Motown artists like The Shirells and The Drifters. James sang the first verse of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" a capella, just himself onstage, holding his guitar. The rhythm section kicked in on the second verse, and he shepherded the ballad through a steady, relaxed uptempo build over some marvelous high notes to a thrilling conclusion—all without breaking a sweat. No flaming pianos, no marching bands; this week it was all about his voice. But you know what? It's always been about James' voice. (Read more and watch the video!)


Now it's up to the American voting public. Will they still love James tomorrow? Stay tuned...

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