Posts Tagged ‘Film Festival’

Traverse City Film Festival Begins!

July 30, 2013

In it’s ninth year, the Traverse City Film Festival continues to grow.  The Traverse City Film Festival was founded by Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore in collaboration with photographer John Robert Williams and author Doug Stanton.  The Festival is funded by local and national businesses, community groups, and individuals.

And, how’s this for a great idea: every year all of the films shown during the festival are donated (by the festival) to public libraries in the area so that everyone can see the festival’s great movies for free.  Pretty cool.

Here’s the list of this year’s movies (if you wish to browse through the titles and descriptions).

On my “wishlist” this year . . . in alphabetic order:

  • Bypass
  • Cocknies vs. Zombies
  • Dancing Queen
  • Dragon
  • Erased
  • The English Teacher
  • Fanie Fourie’s Lobola
  • A Highjacking
  • Into the White
  • Kon Tiki
  • Orenthal: the Musical
  • A Royal Affair

So, if you find yourself in the Traverse City area (Michigan) this week, why not take advantage of this opportunity and see a movie (or two, or three, or more)?  With the numerous venues and variety of choices, there is bound to be something of interest.

Next Trip?

September 11, 2010

Summer is barely over and already I’m planning my vacations for 2011 (as well as a couple more trips yet in 2010).  I’m a firm believer that you should always be working on (or thinking about) your next vacation — it gives you something to anticipate.  Whether it is a quick weekend getaway or a full-fledged week (or two week) excursion is not important.  I’ve read several articles (here’s a recent one) over the years that extol the importance of taking and/or using your vacation time.  It’s good to get away from work and recharge your batteries from time to time.  So why do so many people refuse to use their vacation time?  Economic reasons?  Because they just love their jobs?  Perhaps you may just love your job even more if you were able to get away from it more regularly (this is becoming my plan).  So, what are you waiting for?  Let’s get out there and plan your next vacation (I have).  My plans for 2011 (so far) . . . a Grand Canyon hike, a Summer film festival, a couple of conferences, and a Hawaiian cruise.   Bon voyage!   Here’s a link to a larger version of the below graphic (courtesy of

The Collection Grows!

July 18, 2010

Little Red Boat

 Here is the last piece that I acquired from the Eastern Shore Art Center on my recent trip to Fairhope, Alabama.  The artist: Derald Eastman; the medium: acryllic; the title: “Little Red Boat”; it is an original painting signed by the artist.

I will next be tempted to add to my collection by the Annual Inuit Art Sale at the Dennos Museum Center on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Michigan.  I’ll have to do my art buying (or art browsing [okay, who am I kidding]) between films as my visit will coincide with the 6th Annual Traverse City Film Festival!  Ah,woe is me.

Film Festival – Final Day!

August 3, 2009

Sunday was the final day of this year’s festival and we started bright and early (9:00 AM movies, after a midnight movie the night before — really bad planning on my part).  “The Only Good Indian” was a pretty good story and very eye-opening and educational (from the historical aspect of the film — the internment of Native American children).  “Seraphine” was excellent despite some “slow” sections throughout the story.  Again, another eye-opener (this one was also based on real events).  And finally, “The Answer Man.”   Not too bad, an entertaining romantic comedy despite the rather abrupt ending.

All in all, I really enjoyed the full week of movies and look forward to next year!  This will most likely become an annual event for me.

Film Festival – Day Five!

August 2, 2009

 “The Chaser” was exciting, non-stop action.  Unfortunately, it did not start on time.  For a midnight movie, this meant getting to bed even later than originally anticipated (with a quick turnaround — 9:00 AM movie this morning).  I’m going to really be more aware of showtimes next year when I book my tickets . . . these late nights are becoming a bit tiresome.  Regardless, it has been a lot of fun.

Heading into the final day!  On tap for today: “The Only Good Indian” (USA, 2008), “Seraphine” (France, 2008), and “The Answer Man” (USA, 2009).


“The Only Good Indian” – a fresh perspective on the tragic history of Indian schools.  A story about a young boy forced from his home and his family into internment.  He escapes only to be recaptured by a bounty hunter.  Both eventually become the target of a  notorious “Indian Hunter” sheriff.

“Seraphine” – the real-life story of Seraphine de Senlis, a middle-aged housekeeper and self-taught painter, whose talent is discovered by a German art collector (Wilhelm Uhde).

“The Answer Man” – a reclusive author of a best-seller (“Me and God”) who is faced to admit that he may not have all the answers.  A romantic comedy.

Film Festival – Day Four!

August 1, 2009

Wow, “In the Loop” was phenomenal!   And funny!  I’ve never laughed so much in a long time.  “Humpday” was very interesting.  It had it’s moments of hilarity, but was a bit too bizarre to me.

Only one movie today (how did that happen?), “The Chaser” (South Korea, 2009) — but another midnight movie — these late nights are getting more and more difficult.

Synopsis: a jaded ex-cop turned pimp, forced to exercise his investigative skills once again when his call girls start to go missing.  A suspenseful crime thriller.

Film Festival – Day Three!

July 31, 2009

The best show of the week so far . . . “Departures” (Japan, 2008). It ran the gamut of emotions . . . from laughing one minute to crying the next. Superb! “Dead Snow” (Norway, 2009) . . . a bloodfest; although I found myself laughing more than cowering in horror. A midnight horror flick seems to be well on its way to becoming a tradition at this film festival.

Next on the horizon: “In the Loop” (USA, 2009) and “Humpday” (USA, 2009).

“In the Loop” – comedic, political satire. “A minor slip of the tongue by a low-level politician sets off a whirlwind of activity on both sides of the Atlantic, as both UK and US politicians prepare to spin an imminent war in an unnamed country that nobody really knew they were getting into.” (Film Guide) Has one of my favorite actors (James Gandolfini).

“Humpday” – another comedy about a couple of guys (after copious amounts of drinking) agreeing (or better yet, daring) to shoot and star in a dude-on-dude erotic art film and enter it in an adult film festival. They will feature themselves (two straight guys) as the leads.

The fun continues.

Film Festival – Day Two!

July 30, 2009

Yesterday’s movies (“Revanche,” “Enemies: A Love Story,” and “The Girlfriend Experience”) did not “wow” me too much. Hoping for better luck today. Only two movies on my schedule for today: “Departures” (Japan, 2008), and “Dead Snow” (Norway, 2009).

“Departures” – recently unemployed cellist returns to his hometown (from Tokyo) and starts a new job at a funeral home preparing corpses for cremation.

“Dead Snow” – horror film . . . vacationing students (in the Norwegian Alps), Nazi zombies, dismembered bodies . . . what more could one ask for?

Film Festival Update!

July 29, 2009

The first movie, “Troubled Water,” was excellent.  Phenomenal acting, alternate perspectives, and very intense (at times).  From a mother’s grief, to the offender’s search for redemption, an exceedingly well cut movie.  The movie was prefaced by a few words from Michael Moore who introduced and thanked the “founders” of the film festival (now entering its fifth year); and, the director, Erik Poppe (from Norway), was even on hand to introduce this film (North American debut) and to host a Q&A afterwards.  Truly wonderful!

On tap for today: “Revanche” (Austria, 2008), “Enemies: A Love Story” (USA, 1989), and “The Girlfriend Experience” (USA, 2009)

Synopses . . .

“Revanche” – darkly romantic thriller involving a small town police officer and an ex-con and his prostitute girlfriend whose lives become entwined after a botched bank robbery.  (This film was nominated for “Best Foreign Picture” at last year’s Academy Awards.)

“Enemies: A Love Story” – in this sexy drama, a Holocaust survivor, struggling with the loss of his wife and children, living in NYC (and married to the woman who sheltered him during the war — but also engaged in an affair with his mistress), is suddenly confronted with the reappearance of his long-assumed deceased wife.  Oops!

“The Girlfriend Experience” – a high-class escort attempting to strike a balance between running her business while maintaining her personal life and the toll it takes on her emotional, self-inflicted commoditization.  There is reportedly no sex and no nudity — not bad for a movie about a call girl.

Stay tuned . . . more to come.

Let the Movies Begin!

July 28, 2009

Tonight marks the beginning of the Traverse City Film Festival (the fifth anniversary of Michael Moore’s brainchild — already considered one of the top film gatherings in the country).  This year there are “71 features and 50 short films from over 30 different countries.” (Michael Moore)

I’ve already purchased my tickets (15 movies in 6 days) — first up: “Troubled Water” (Norway, 2008).

Brief synopsis: young man, recently released from prison, organist in a church, small town, quest for redemption, winning the heart of the pastor and her son, forced to confront past when visited by a woman affected by his actions . . . “an intense drama about forgiveness, redemption and the permanency of the decisions we make.” (TCFF Film Guide)

Let the movies begin!