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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.

5:29 p.m.

Earlier today, Susan Sarandon recounted a prank she and “Thelma & Louise” co-star Geena Davis played on the filmmakers. While shooting a scene, the two recited their lines in a Scandinavian foreign language. When the footage was reviewed, movie makers thought it was playing backwards.

4:46 p.m.

Best Twitter account to follow? Try Susan Sarandon’s adorable pooch, who won audience hearts at this morning’s City Opera House panel. Penny even posts plenty of pictures. Among Penny’s recent tweets:

@mspennypuppy : I love private planes. So easy to pack. Miss S signing books to support Film Festival Traverse Michigan on the way

Track Penny’s adventures on Twitter here.

Susan Sarandon and Michael Moore chat at the City Opera House panel this morning.

4:15 p.m.

Susan Sarandon’s appearance at the Traverse City Film Festival wasn’t the first time local residents warmly embraced her.
Decades ago, Sarandon chatted with Record-Eagle political columnist George Weeks and Traverse City resident Joyce Braithwaite-Brickley aboard a plane during the latter years of Gov. William Milliken’s administration.
Braithwaite-Brickley recently recalled the meeting:
“In the late 1970s Governor Milliken, three state troopers, George Weeks and I went on a business trip (to) the Dominican Republic. When we boarded our plane home, I noticed actress Susan Sarandon sitting near us. She was a great favorite of mine so I said, ‘Excuse me. I want you to know how much I enjoy your work so thanks so much,’ and I kept moving. She answered, ‘I’m writing a letter right now, but I will come to find you when I’m finished.’
“Surprise. She did. So she and I and George went to the upper deck on the plane and had a drink together. She was a very friendly and charming person. We still see all of her pictures and reminisce about our chance encounter.”

3:17 p.m.

The City Opera House audience, some of whom have been hanging around since the Susan Sarandon panel at 9:30 a.m. and stayed for the screening of “Thelma & Louise,” have left the building. But, the Sarandon tribute continues. She and film fest Founder Michael Moore are headed to the State Theatre, where audiences already have been warned the two are running a bit behind. Sarandon stars in the film “Robot & Frank,” which was scheduled to start at 3 p.m. at the State. The screening is sold out, but those without tickets may have luck by waiting in the stand by line.

2:55 p.m.

“She knows she has to pay,” Sarandon, of her character Louise.

2:25 p.m.

“Thelma & Louise” just ended to big applause. waiting for Susan Sarandon to return to the Opera House for Q-and-A

1:28 p.m.

“I never knew you guys had sand on your lakes,” said Susan Sarandon, joking with the audience at the film festival panel this morning.

Also: “I’m desperate to try your pie.”

12:20 p.m.

Susan Sarandon easily swapped stories with Michael Moore during this morning’s Traverse City Film Festival panel. She sat in a chair onstage with her dog curled up next to her and shared stories about her activism and acting.

Sarandon returned to the City Opera House just after noon to welcome an excited crowd who gathered to watch her film “Thelma & Louise.” Quipped Sarandon: “The men shouldn’t be afraid unless you wear an exorbitant amount of gold jewelry.”

9:37 a.m.

City Opera House crowd just was told panel is delayed a bit because Moore and Sarandon are outside greeting people who couldn’t get into packed house. Some people got here as early as 5:30 a.m.

9:05 a.m.

It’s jam-slammed inside the City Opera House as the audience finds seats. Only two chairs on stage, for Moore and Sarandon. That’s a bit unusual for the festival panels, which typically feature more than a half dozen panelists.

8:55 a.m.

It’s Day 2 of the Traverse City Film Festival, and Susan Sarandon will speak with Michael Moore at this morning’s 9:30 a.m. panel. The line outside the City Opera House already stretches around the block. We’ll have a photographer and reporter at the panel, so stay tuned for updates throughout the day.

  • GenePH

    Fishing for more suckers.

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