Traverse City Record-Eagle


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.”  My  unusually early timing was a bummer because that meant I could’ve stayed longer at the Opening Party down the street. And boy do I wish I had more time there. I had delicious pita and artichoke dip from the Opa! tent. It was one out of many tents that created a bustling courtyard at the Wade-Trim parking lot on Park Street and had an assortment of food and beverages – more than enough to fill my poor, hungry, intern belly. Believe me, I took full advantage of my little press pass (except the good drinks. Ms. Jodee Taylor – my editor – swore me off the stuff until after the festivities). And although they didn’t light the lanterns that were strung up for ambiance when I was there, the band came on to jazz me off to the State Theatre just in time.

So, as I milled around outside the State box office breathing in the fresh bay air, I looked up from my notepad and noticed Moore walking out with Poppe. Immediately people outside noticed and were eager to say thank you or snap a picture with him. One woman even asked Moore for his autograph and stopped him two feet away from me. He obliged. My eyes met his as he scribbled down an M and a bunch of zig-zags without looking at the pad. For a moment we just looked at each other. He had a smirk on his face as if he knew me, or thought something ridiculous was happening. I felt like I understood, despite a feeling that began to creep inside me. As a second man asked for an autograph I felt compelled to ask for one as well. Briefly, I thought I might be missing my chance to get the man’s autograph and if I let the opportunity go, I might regret it to my dying day.

Although I don’t regret not asking Moore for his John Hancock, I do kind of regret not saying something to him. Eventually I’d like to talk to him, but no way in hell am I going to ask him for an autograph, say thank you and walk away. I remember when I first met Ted Nugent. One of my long-time heroes. He ate at a restaurant in Jonesville on a November night when I was working, and my boss kept giving me a hard time because she knew how much I loved the guy. But he was with his family and I didn’t want to be annoying. After the night rush hit and I was calming down from the confusion, I heard his deep voice behind me talking to my boss on his way out. In a moment of zen, I swung around, completely interrupted their conversation and blurted out a loud, “Mr. Nugent.” He stared at me in disbelief as a few awkward moments passed and my boss almost cracked. Just then I threw up a clenched fist about eye level and blurted out, “I like your style, dude. Rock on.” His eyes shifted between me and my boss as a smile crept above his gray goatee and my hand sat high in the air anxiously awaiting contact. Chuckling, he pounded my fist and told me to have a Merry Christmas.

I couldn’t have asked for a better turnout, and imagine my first encounter with Mr. Moore to be a similar situation of confusion, awkwardness and whatever happens to roll off my tongue. Michael Moore, here I come. You know, it’s not that I’m in love with the guy. I don’t even particularly like the man. But, I’ve always wanted to talk to the man and see how he converses.

Oh, and as far as “Troubled Water” is concerned. I give it an 8.8/10. It was a beautifully made film with fantastic acting and wonderful directing. The concept was excellent and masterfully executed.

[SPOILER] The only part I didn’t like was the sexual relationship between the woman priest and the main character. I felt that as a priest she would’ve been a little more careful of sleeping with men out of marriage. Especially considering the fact she had already had a child out of wedlock that she mentioned was quite a burden.

Until next time.

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