Film festival and a tough game

From left, Christine Storey, owner of Midnight Express in Los

Film festival foraging occurred at this past week’s Cinequest
Film festival opening in San Jos
é. Kim Bush and Bill Leaman, organizers and founders of Morgan
Hill’s Poppy Jasper Film Festival were at Cinequest seeking out new
films and daring to pass out the requisite promotional
Film festival foraging occurred at this past week’s Cinequest Film festival opening in San José. Kim Bush and Bill Leaman, organizers and founders of Morgan Hill’s Poppy Jasper Film Festival were at Cinequest seeking out new films and daring to pass out the requisite promotional postcard.

In attendance at both the screening of the opening film Manual for Love Stories at the newly renovated California Theater and caught schmoozing with film makers during the rockin’ after- party at the Paragon restaurant, Bush and Leaman worked the crowd of local, national and international filmmakers promoting Poppy Jasper and the upcoming deadline of entries.

Brent and Jen Bear canvassed the festival with promo cards and talked up the second annual Poppy Jasper with Open Water star Blanchard Ryan.

Ryan admittedly loves short film work and traded contact information with the Bears, expressing a keen interest in visiting our festival with some of her earlier short works.

Ryan also indicated an interest in visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium with an odd interest in sharks. This seemed to have blossomed during her filming of Open Water in which she portrays a diver left behind by the dive boat.

And Ryan had this to say about the nude scene in the movie. “No nude scenes ever advance a story. They are there to get men to the movies.”

As to what many have wondered about a boat full of men not noticing the only woman is not back on board, Ryan laughed and said, “That’s a point a lot of men have asserted. They claim therein lies the flaw in the movie.”

South Valley Newspapers publisher, Steve Staloch and his wife Sheri, enjoyed Friday evening with Charles and Karen Lewis, Michelle and Allan Moyer, and Gwen Dorcich, all of South County at San José Silicon Valley’s Ballet Gala at the Hayes Mansion. Also enjoying the gala were consummate supporters from south Santa Clara Valley Dale and Ann Shipley, Rocky and Glenda Garcia, brother and sister George and Fran Chiala (both whom know how to cut a rug), Karen and Walter Loewenstern, and Lynne and Bob Meyer.

The Chinese-themed night began with a spectacular dragon dance through the tables by dancers from the ballet surrounded by the gorgeously decorated ballroom. Lanterns, red-draped banners and women attendees dressed in Asian silk gowns drew us to the east along with the Asian-fusion-style menu of Furikai Spice Salmon and Sesame Crusted Filet Mignon Beef.

The green tea and chocolate mousse duo was outstanding (I have to admit I ate Charles’ dessert too! I was going for the Vietnamese potbellied look).

More than $150,000 was raised during the evening going toward the ballet’s future expenses.

Speaking of monopoly money … Rodger Malech of Intero Real Estate gave his annual Monopoly Party blowout on Friday night with more than 100 family members, friends and clients attending the bash. Rodger’s speech of a humble host not winning the grand prize turned into an acceptance speech later in the evening when Rodger won the whole enchilada.

Humility got the best of him and reportedly was thinking, “Who cares what they think, I won!” What did he win? The grand prize of bragging rights and a trophy.

Rodger would like to thank his worthy opponents and monopoly finalists Joyce Peternel, Jay Tarvin, Gary Berger, Irwin Boggs, and San Bernadino resident Doug Gage. Other not-so-worthy players included Linda and Tom Malech, Randy Toch and his wife Peggy Young, David Lister and Pastor Dave Whittacker.

No rest for the socially inclined … an introduction at Cinequest to Steve Wozniak scored an invitation to his new venture: Segway Polo. Known officially as Electronic Assistive Mobility Devices, Segways are also romantically referred to as gliders.

It’s a type of space-aged mobility device that has captivated the valley’s geek world looking for a break from programming, although the more competitive players can be seen during the break between chukkers reprogramming their gliders for warp speed.

The most competitive on the field in Sunnyvale on Thursday appeared to be Wozniak. Some of his superior skills may be due to the fact Wozniak was very active in sports as a young person or the fact he was the first to buy a Segway, was trained at the factory and owns a ‘string’ of seven gliders.

Wozniak pushed the limits of the Segway on the field, at times leaning to an almost 45-degree angle when attacking the ball.

The rules are still being developed for Segway Polo as each game presents itself with challenges and protests from the (usually) losing team.

During Sunday’s match, as it has happened in previous games, the ball got jostled up on the Segway and became trapped.

After an incident like that happened to Wozniak during an earlier match, and he took advantage and raced down the field with the ball on the glider and plopped it into the goal (a Silicon Valley allegory of racing the product to market?) the ruling was made that you have to knock the ball back into play when it lands on your Segway.

According to Alex Ko, a mechanical engineer from Applied Materials and one of the founders of the Segway Polo idea, the game is still new and evolving but more and more Segway owners are finding the game through online introductions. Ko pointed to the “junior varsity,” beginner field explaining there were a lot of “newbies today.”

Trevor Blackwell, a newbie playing on the field designs his own Segways – jet ski shutoff cord and all. Blackwell also designed a motorized unicycle similar to the Segway; the name of which he is still debating after trying out “eunicycle” but nixed that when it looked too much like eunuch which is a sore point with unicyclists.

Steve Steinberg of Oakland drove a hard round and admitted coming off the field, “I actually feel like I’m going to throw up!”

The game is not one for the faint of heart or anyone with motion sickness tendencies.

Breaking away from his motion picture days was Victor Miller, the writer amongst the geeks. Mr. Miller perked up with the news the society columnist had found his weekend retreat and boasted membership with the New York Social Registry.

Sorry, Mr. Miller that won’t cut it with this columnist. You must know the secret handshake of the Ducks Unlimited members to receive distinction in the west. Try again.

If the name does ring a bell (or give you nightmares) you may have stayed long enough for the credits of the movie Friday the 13th.

Mr. Miller wrote the screenplay for the horror flick (or as he refers to it his “exorcism of childhood fears”). Mr. Miller, any chance to be a part of a little film festival we have? Go for it Bush and Leaman, I have his contact information!

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