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Film Festival Dailies

Record-Eagle staffers bring you the inside scoop from the annual Traverse City Film Festival. For all your festival news, visit

Film fest final day

7:50 p.m.

Whew, what a week. Sure, some of you hardcore festival-goers still have tickets to see one of the remaining movies, but for most the 2012 festival is a wrap.

Here’s some wrap-up info from this year’s event. The box office increased by 15 percent, said Executive Director Deb Lake. Next year, organizers are looking to add another venue downtown and are considering a temporary structure. More »

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Friday film fest fun

11:57 p.m.

Time for the daily film fest Twitter round up. Here’s an excerpt of what people tweeted today:

@shane_elliott: The State Theater that @MMFlint Michael Moore renovated is friendly, inexpensive, comfortable and has style #TCFF

@bellakat87: Volunteering for the midnight showing of Rocky Horror at the OTP! #tcff

@femmnoir3: Favorite part of the festival so far is an elderly couple who are so gangsta they will sit in any reserved seat #TCFF

@Wildflower1945: @TCFF walked out on “Compliance” tonight along with half, if not more of the audience. Disgusting and degrading. What do U think?

@voraciousfilmgo: Lots of walkouts and a couple heated Q&A questions for @Pat_Healy with COMPLIANCE, a truly tough, terrifying and worthwhile film. #TCFF

@TCFF: Temps will reach the mid-90′s on Sat. Bring water and an umbrella. We’ll also walk the line selling water. Stay cool, TC! More »

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Day 3: Kristen Bell, Rebel

 12:45 a.m.

Kristen Bell only had a few hours to spend in Traverse City, but the crowd at her film “Hit & Run” seemed to enjoy every minute she was on stage. She chatted about collecting Petoskey stones as a kid on family vacation and growing up in Huntington Woods. She met fiancé Dax Shepard at a Red Wings game. The two involved all their friends in the making of their new film, which film fest audiences saw before its national release. Anyone expecting fellow  Michigander Shepard to show up was disapointed. Bell said he wanted to come but had the chance to guest host The Chelsea Lately show on the E! Network tonight. We will post more about her visit in the morning.

3:03 p.m.

The festival announced winners of this year’s bumper contest. The $1,000 prize winners are: Lesley Alicia Tye, Colin Campbell, Ellyn Church and Anthony Penta for “A TC Odyssey.”

Second place and $350 goes to Bud Solem and Karl Bastian for “Diversity.”

Third prize and $150 goes to Caroline Schaefer-Hills with “Lake Michigan.”

Winners pick up their awards at Saturday’s Filmmaker Party and get the honor of seeing their creations on the big screen before film festival screenings. Follow the links to check out the bumpers. More »

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It’s Susan Sarandon Day

7:15 p.m.

I’ve filed my two stories for tomorrow’s paper, and I took a peek at Photographer Jan-Michael Stump’s images from today’s film festival. The photographs are great and capture the excitement of this morning’s panel with Susan Sarandon. Check them out in the print edition or online Thursday.

Downtown looks busy, too. The patio at Amical is full of diners, and folks are strolling down the sidewalks. What movies are on your viewing list tonight? If you have recommendations of can’t-miss films, be sure to drop a note in the comments. We’ll see you all back here on Thursday for film fest Day 3. More »

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The fest is back, and so are we

10 p.m.

Here are a few tweets that caught our eye today from the first day of the Traverse City Film Festival:

@SusanSarandon: Traverse City here I come. So excited they’re going to screen @RobotAndFrank. #TCFF

@womenable: Best #TCFF opening night EVER – Susan Sarandon & Rodriguez himself at “Searching for Sugar Man.” Wow!!!

@Mariobatali: Wow. Sugar Man!! Premiere @traversecityfilmfestival    Go see it ASAP !!

@chinzeDPT: A nice buzz exists about #TCMI tonight, must be #TCFF time!

More »

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Mid-life of the party

By Cody EwersNo real street party comes without drunken moms reliving their high school proms, when they had the best moves in school. And Saturday night’s Filmmaker’s Party didn’t disappoint. Among the blaring trumpet and hard-driving power chords of a traditional Irish rock band tossed and turned one lonely woman grooving the way she did so many years ago. As I sat there chuckling every time a dance move was interrupted by a stutter or an off-beat clap, I couldn’t help the urge to join her. Unfortunately, the paper frowns upon drinking on the job. So, I stayed put and let her do the heavy lifting. More »

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The power of film

By Cody EwersSo, I had elaborate plans — thanks to the encouragement of my editor — to branch out and see a movie I had originally rejected because the plot didn’t interest me. Through a fluke, I received a ticket to the movie “Humpday.” A film that explores the “what if?” question involving two heterosexual men who attempt to make an dude-on-dude erotic art film. Whatever that means. It’s not that I won’t watch anything that involves homosexuality, but I’d rather fill my time with other stories. But, after a playful conversation with the ole’editor I decided to give it a whirl. After all, my only other option was watching “The Goonies” for the millionth time with some friends.

After a long day at the beach and walking around Front Street for the city’s Friday Night Live (when street vendors, local bands and smiling faces litter downtown between Park and Cass Streets) my friends and I decided to head to the Open Space and watch “The Goonies.” I told myself I’d only stay until 11:30 p.m., then head off to the State to catch my queer indie film. More »

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Bravo, horror has a place in my heart

By Cody EwersLast night I attended the midnight screening of “Dead Snow,” and for the first time I actually got a genre of film that has eluded me since my first movie. It was a great watch. All the blood and intestines I could handle, and then some. But it was masterfully shot by a director who clearly understands the genre and what people like about cheesy horror. And he nailed it.

I must admit, I requested a ticket to the film just to meet the interesting crowd who enjoys that kind of movie and planned on leaving early to hang out with some friends. Halfway through I found myself laughing, jumping and ignoring every phone call that lit up my pocket. I had it on silent, of course. More »

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Done right

By Cody Ewers“Films were born in the age of Einstein, where the only constant was the speed of light.”

I picked this sound bite up at the first film school session of the Traverse City Film Festival. Jim Burnstein, head of the screenwriting program at the University of Michigan, gave an interesting lecture about the mechanics and style of screenwriting. He gave interactive examples and kept the crowd laughing and interested as he imparted knowledge upon a room almost as diverse as Serenity Tea Room in downtown Traverse City. More »

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First Day a Doozy

By Cody EwersTonight was the first time I’ve ever seen Michael Moore in person. In the cozy velvet of the State Theatre, I watched as Mr. Moore help director/producer of “Troubled Water,” Erik Poppe, field questions. He seemed to look exactly as I remember seeing him in countless of his documentary scenes: Simple black shirt, jeans, sneakers and of course his trademark ball cap with hair flipping out on the sides.

I was early. Too early for my film festival premier: a 10:15 p.m. screening of “Troubled Water.” More »

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