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Traverse City Film Festival Movies – Movie Line Up – Michael Moore

13 July 2010 No Comment

2010 Traverse City Film Festival opening night film “The Kids Are All Right” starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, and the closing night film “Eat, Pray, Love” starring Julia Roberts and James Franco.

Michael Moore, filmmaker, will once again be on hand for the Traverse City Film Festival which kicks off the 2010 Traverse City Film Festival, running from July 27, 2010 to August 1, 2010.

The Traverse City Film Festival is a unique to Michigan festival. The Traverse City Film Festival is in its sixth year.

Opening Night
The Kids Are All Right
2009 | USA | R | 104 min.

Sometimes there’s a film that’s just right for its time and place, a perfect match for the spirit of its time. This alt-family comedy from director Lisa Cholodenko (“Laurel Canyon”) is just such a film — a classically crafted work that effortlessly taps the cultural zeitgeist to offer a portrait of a quintessentially modern family. Hard-working doctor Nic (Annette Bening)
has been with her partner Jules (Julianne Moore) for almost twenty years. The couple has it all — a house in the suburbs, steady income, and two teenage kids, Laser (Josh Hutchinson) and college-bound Joni (Mia Wasikowska). Everything’s going smoothly for the family until Laser pressures his just-turned-eighteen sister into using her new legal standing to track down the identity of their biological father. The anonymous sperm donor turns out to be Paul (Mark Ruffalo), the hunky proprietor of a hip organic restaurant who’s more than a little curious to meet the kids he never knew he had. But as Paul enters into their lives, the family’s balance is thrown into disarray. A breakout hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, this rich, hilarious film is easily the best American indie of the year.

Showtime: Tuesday, July 27, 7 pm State Theatre
Closing Night
EAT , PRAY , LOVE
2010 | USA | PG-13 | 90 min.

Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) has everything a modern woman is supposed to dream of having – and yet, her life doesn’t feel complete. An affair with a younger man (James Franco) doesn’t do the trick, and her friends don’t have the answers either. Newly divorced and at a crossroads, Gilbert jettisons the comforts and complacency of her seemingly successful life, setting out on a journey around the world to find out what she really wants in life. On her quest for self-discovery, she embarks on a “no carb left behind” tour of Italy; discovers the power of prayer with the help of a wise Texan (Richard Jenkins) in an ashram in India, and finds the potential for true inner peace and balance after meeting a Brazilian man (Javier Bardem) in Bali. Adapted from Elizabeth Gilbert’s eponymous best-selling memoir, this gorgeous globe-trotting exploration proves that there really is more than one way to let yourself go and see the world.

Showtime: Sunday, August 1, 2010, 6:00 pm State Theatre Films

Nowhere Boy
2009 | UK | R | 98 min.

Director Sam Taylor Wood’s portrait of the artist as a smart, talented, but directionless young man who steals records and skips school in 1955 Liverpool provides a fascinating fictional look at John Lennon’s early path from boy to man to legend. Powerful performances from BAFTA nominated actresses Kristin Scott Thomas and Anne-Marie Duff, who play the aunt
who raised him and the estranged mother who fought for his attention in his teen years, bring to life a crucial part of the journey that led to the creation of the greatest rock band of all time. From meeting a young Paul McCartney and starting up The Quarrymen as a refuge from his painful past, to falling in love for the first time, “Nowhere Boy” avoids the pitfalls of biopic nostalgia to reveal the emotional and musical birth of a legend.

Showtime: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 6:30 pm City Opera House

Cane Toads: The Conquest
2010 | Australia | PG | 90 min.

The South American cane toad’s unstoppable journey across the Australian continent has long been the focus of great controversy and bizarre fascination. The cane toad was introduced to Australia in 1935 in an attempt to control the greyback cane beetle. Unfortunately, the toads were disinclined eat the beetles. Instead, they set about doing what cane toads do best —multiplying, migrating and thriving. 75 years later, in a country equipped with unprecedented scientific capabilities and unabated public will to battle the invasion, it seems nothing will stop the march of the Toad. Science and genetic mutation have failed, so too has physical aggression. Fences and traps have proved ineffectual, as have natural predators and topographic barriers. No other species has occupied a nation’s consciousness like this toad, which has achieved both criminal and cult status. “Cane Toads: The Conquest” explores the history, the science, the human conflict and the bizarre culture surrounding this notorious environmental blunder. Director Mark Lewis injects his trademark irreverence and humor into the first independent 3D movie ever made, a story filled with engaging characters and incredible first hand accounts. This is a truly poignant environmental cautionary tale on the issue of invasive species and human folly. As the world wrestles with the idea that we have irretrievably altered our own ecosystem, these bulbous creatures may be the ultimate metaphor for the inevitable path upon which we have set ourselves. In Person: Director Mark Lewis, Executive Producer Clark Bunting

Showtime: Friday, July 30, 2010, 6 pm Lars Hockstad Auditorium

U2 3D
2007 | USA | G | 85 min.

Disappointed that U2 had to cancel their East Lansing tour stop? Don’t sweat it! This year the TCFF will feature the first-ever live-action digital 3D film. “U2 3D” is a unique cinematic experience that places viewers within the pulsing energy of a stadium concert given by the world’s most popular band. Marrying innovative digital 3D imagery and multi-channel surround sound with the excitement of a live U2 concert — shot in South America during the final leg of their “Vertigo” tour — this film creates an immersive theatrical experience unlike any 3D or concert film that has come before. See and hear Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. rock out to your favorite U2 hits including “Beautiful Day,” “With or Without You” and “Where the Streets Have No Name.” Ushering in a new dimension of filmmaking, “U2 3D” takes viewers on an extraordinary journey they will never forget. Print courtesy 3ality Digital and National Geographic Entertainment

Showtime: Saturday, July 31, 2010, 6 pm Lars Hockstad Auditorium

Coming to the 2010 Film Festival and need lodging? Grab your hotel now or rent a cottage

Apart Together
2009 | China | NR | 93 min.

Wang Quan’an’s latest masterpiece centers on Chinese civil war veteran Liu’s visit his elderly one-time love Yu’e after a lengthy break; the couple separated when Liu, a Nationalist soldier, fled to Taiwan. Their reunion proves uncomfortable for Yu’e and her family: her common-law husband Lu is also an ex-soldier who fought for the side of the Communist mainland, and their adult children with whom they share a home are unsettled by Liu’s presence. This engaging chamber piece with a quiet political undercurrent is elevated by a dry sense of humor and fleeting moments of lyricism.

Showtimes: Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 9:30 am Milliken Auditorum and Sunday, August 1, 2010, 3 pm, Milliken Auditorium

Castaway on the Moon
2009 | S. Korea | NR | 116 min.

Driven to despair by life’s failures, Kim aims to end it all by leaping off a bridge. But he can’t even get suicide right, and the non-swimmer ends up washed ashore on an island in the middle of the river, the city in sight but tantalizingly out of
reach. Slowly growing accustomed to his isolation, Kim becomes the Robinson Crusoe of his island. Meanwhile, in a high rise on the banks of the river, a shut-in happens upon Kim with her zoom lens, and the two isolated misfits discover
the joy of less-than-instant messaging through notes left in bottles and messages scrawled in the sand. This must-see rom com will move you in ways you haven’t felt at the movies in years.

Showtimes: Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 3 pm State Theatre and Sunday, August 1, 2010, 6 pm, Milliken Auditorium

Cherry
2009 | USA | NR | 100 min.

Aaron is a smart but sheltered incoming Ivy League freshman, pushed to pursue an engineering track by his controlling mother. Liberated by the newfound freedom of life away from the nest, Aaron decides to enroll in a drawing class, where he meets and falls for Linda, a 34-year-old former wild-child who has returned to school to straighten out her life.
Linda invites Aaron to her place, and a bizarre love triange ensues when, instead of getting lucky with his free-spirited classmate, he gets introduced to Beth, Linda’s punky 14-year-old daughter who develops a crush of her own on Aaron. This clever, provocative coming-of-age tale was shot downstate in Kalamazoo. In Person: Jeffrey Fine

Showtime: Saturday, July 31, 2010, 3 pm, Lars Hockstad

A Brand New Life
2009 | France, South Korea | NR | 92 min.

Nine-year-old Jin-hee loves spending time with her dad, which makes his decision to drop her off at a Catholic orphanage with no intention of coming back all the more bewildering. In shock and denial, Jin-hee initially refuses to eat or speak while clinging to the hope that her father will return, before slowly beginning to navigate her new world. The story is told with a pleasingly light, unmanipulative touch, but the barely articulated emotional devastation at the core of this film will break your heart. This must-see will haunt you with the same bitter-sweet warmth as a great book.

Showtime: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 6 pm, Milliken Auditorium

The Concert
2009 | France | NR | 119 min.

Once one of the USSR’s greatest conductors, Andrei Filipov was demoted for refusing to fire the Bolshoi Orchestra’s Jewish members during the communist era. Twenty-five years later, Filipov is a defeated man, reduced to a janitorial position in the great concert hall. Then opportunity knocks in the form of a fax inviting the Bolshoi to step in for a gig in Paris after another orchestra cancels. Filipov intercepts the message before it gets to the higher-ups, and hatches a daring plan to gather up his old buddies and pose as the Bolshoi. This delightful musical dramedy was a crowd favorite in festivals around the globe.

Showtimes: Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 6 pm State Theatre and Friday, July 30, 2010 at 3pm, Lars Hockstad

Cherry Blossoms
2008 | Germany | NR | 127 min.

A deeply stirring portrait of love, loss, mourning and renewal, this tender cross-cultural tale is sure to be one of the most moving films you’ll ever see. Rudi and Trudi are a retirement-aged couple living in Bavaria. Rudi is content with his day-to-day routine; Trudi yearns to fulfill her lifelong dream of traveling to Mount Fuji. When tragedy strikes while the couple is visiting their two grown children in Berlin, Rudi makes the pilgrimage alone to Tokyo where he meets a young Butoh dancer who gives him new perspective on his wife and himself. Renowned director Doris Dörrie has crafted an insightful and affecting gem.

Showtimes: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 9:30 am, Milliken Auditorium and Sunday, August 1, 2010, 3pm, State Theatre

In the Beginning
2009 | France | NR | 135 min.

Based on a bizarre true story, this brilliant film is about a small-time con man who stumbles into a town that has fallen on hard economic times. Part of the town’s bad luck is the fact that the government canceled the superhighway that was to have brought the world to their door. The con comes up with a plan to scam the town: he pretends to be from a new construction company that has decided to build the highway after all. Suddenly everyone’s hopes are (falsely) raised, believing they are going to be saved. And Paul insists that the town leaders and businesses pay him up front to get the job done. A chilling, too-close-to-home story for any area struggling in these hard times.

Showtimes: Friday, July 30, 2010, 6 pm, Milliken Auditorium, Sunday, August 1, 2010, 9 pm, Old Town Playhouse

Lebanon, PA
2009 | USA | NR | 100 min.

After learning that his father has passed away, Philadelphia advertising executive Will heads to rural Lebanon, PA, to get his dad’s affairs in order. There, he meets his dad’s staunchly conservative second cousin Andy, a father of two. Will forms an unlikely friendship with Andy’s bright and bubbly 17-year old daughter CJ (Rachel Kitson), who confides in him that
she’s pregnant. Director Ben Hickernell’s earnest sophomore feature offers a bittersweet look at the urban/rural cultural divide in America through the lives of one extended family. In Person: Ben Hickernell, Rachel Kitson

Showtimes: Wednesday, July 28, 2010, noon, Milliken Auditorium and Sunday, August 1, 2010, 6 pm, Lars Hockstad

The Infidel
2010 | UK | NR | 105 min.

London family man Mahmud does his best to be a good Muslim, even if he’s a little lax in his observances from time to time with regards to the whole “no drinking” and “no swearing” thing. But one day his life is turned upside down after discovering stunning news that he was adopted — and his parents were Jewish! Mahmud’s real name? Solly Shimshillewitz. His only friend through the ensuing identity crisis is a Jewish-American cabbie who offers a few pointers to his newfound Hebrew comrade. Adding to his crisis of faith, Mahmud’s revelation comes just in time for his son’s upcoming marriage to the daughter of a fiery fundamentalist Islamic cleric. A side-splitting, perfectly played high-concept comedy.

Showtimes: Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 6 pm, Lars Hockstad and Thursday, July 29, 2010, 9 pm, State Theatre

Farsan
2009 | Sweden | NR | 97 min.

With a uniquely Scandinavian sense of oddball humor on full display, “Farsan” (Swedish for “Father”) is a heart-warming comedy about manliness. As a Middle Eastern immigrant living in Sweden, Aziz (played by the director’s father) has a pretty good life: he’s got a steady job, and is expecting his first grandkid soon. He’s even got time to teach his punch-less coworker Jörgen a thing or two about being a man (which apparently involves being pushed out a moving car). But when it comes to finding a sweetheart of his own, the long-widowed Aziz needs more than a little assistance from his pals.

Showtimes: Thurdsay, July 29, 2010, 9:30 am, Lars Hockstad and Saturday, July 31, 2010, noon, State Theatre

The French Kissers
2009 | France | NR | 90 min.

Like many 14-year-old boys, pimple-faced Hervé and his mullet-sporting metal-head friend Camel spend their days fantasizing about their female classmates while lacking the allure or confidence to actually approach one. When an attractive girl inexplicably sets her sights on Hervé, he suffers ample embarrassments along the way to love. Equally laugh—and cringe-inducing, this smart, raunchy teen sex comedy—picture a French version of “American Pie” — was
a runaway hit in its home country and is an audience favorite at festivals around the globe.

Showtimes: Friday, July 30, 2010, 9 pm, Milliken Auditorium and Saturday, July 31, 2010, midnight, Old Town Playhouse

Heartbreaker
2010 | France | NR | 104 min.

Set in glamorous Monte Carlo, this uber popular rom com tells the story of Alex, a master of seduction, who runs an unusual business with his sister and brother-in-law: they are hired by concerned parents and friends to break up couples “who shouldn’t be together.” Alex’s latest assignment is the group’s most challenging to date: he must charm haughty wine expert Juliette away from her seemingly perfect fiancé before their wedding, and he might have to break the first rule of the biz: never break up a romance where the woman is truly happy. It’s slated for an “American remake;” catch the real thing here.

Showtimes: Friday, July 30, 2010, 6 pm, State Theatre and Saturday, July 31, 2010, 9 pm, Lars Hockstad

The Happy Poet
2010 | USA | NR | 85 min.

An unemployed post-grad poet dreams of opening an all-organic food stand, despite having terrible credit and little business know-how. He manages to secure a minuscule loan from an amused banker—just enough to buy a hot dog cart and convert it into a health food stand that attracts two loyal customers in slacker-philosopher Curtis and the poetry-loving
Agnes. An intelligent comedy about eco-consciousness and the entrepreneurial spirit, this is a dryly funny, very indie movie in the vein of “Slacker.” In Person: Paul Gordon, David Hartstein

Showtime: Friday, July 30, 2010, noon, Lars Hockstad

Mid-August Lunch
2008 | Italy | NR | 75 min.

An unpretentious and thoroughly Italian comedy, this food- and family-oriented film centers on Gianni, a middle-aged man who lives with his elderly mother in Rome. Behind on his rent, Gianni gets a proposition from his apartment manager Luigi, who will forgive his debts if Gianni lets his mother and aunt stay with him for the midsummer holiday feast of Ferragosto. Further complicating matters, Gianni’s doctor friend prevails on him look after his mother as well, and soon he’s got a kitchen full of nonagenarian Nonnas in his care. Tenderly capturing the joys and regrets of old age, this film took home the prize for best debut feature at the Venice Film Fest.

Showtimes: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 3 pm, Lars Hockstad and Saturday, July 31, 2010, 9:30 am, Milliken Auditorium

Please Give
2009 | USA | R | 90 min.

Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt star in this new comedy from Nicole Holofcener (“Friends With Money”), a piercing look at an upper-middle-class woman’s sense of guilt about her privileged position in life. On the one hand, Kate gives regularly to the homeless. On the other, she and her husband indulge a somewhat morbid materialism—their successful vintage furniture store sells pieces inherited by grieving children, and they have their eyes set on expanding their already-spacious apartment once their aging neighbor Andra kicks the bucket. Holofcener is at the top of her game with this bitingly funny and insightful film.

Showtimes: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 3 pm, State Theatre and Saturday, July 31, 2010, 9:30 am, Lars Hockstad

The Secret in Their Eyes
2009 | Argentina | R | 129 min.

Winner of the 2010 Best Foreign Film Oscar, this mesmerizing crime drama interweaves a politically charged whodunit with generation-spanning romances, all the elements of classic cinema at its finest. Haunted by the memory of a brutal murder case for over 25 years, a retired court investigator decides to write a novel about the horrific crime to exorcise his inner demons. We follow his relentless pursuit of the killer, aided by his bumbling genius colleague Sandoval and their cautious superior Irene. A true cinematic treat, this labyrinthine legal thriller will leave you talking hours after you leave the theater.

Showtimes: Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 3 pm, Lars Hockstad and Sunday, August 1, 2010, 9 pm, State Theatre

Legacy
2010 | Nigeria, UK | NR | 95 min.

Idris Elba gives a riveting central performance as a black ops officer who ends up in a military hospital after being ambushed, captured and tortured while pursuing a black market arms dealer. Years later, he’s living alone in a run-down Brooklyn apartment, plotting to expose a powerful New York Senator who he believes to be the man pulling the strings — a man who also happens to be his brother. The taut script functions almost entirely within Gray’s apartment, working both as a tense psychological chamber drama and a high-stakes political thriller. In Person: Director Thomas Ikimi

Showtime: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 9 pm, City Opera House

The Man Next Door
2009 | Argentina | NR | 103 min.

Leonardo is a world-famous interior designer who lives in Le Corbusier’s Casa Curutchet. One day, horror strikes: he awakes to the sound of workmen opening a hole for his neighbor Victor’s new window—and it looks directly into his famous home! Victor just wants a little more sun, but a window is out of the question for Leonardo. As negotiations between the two men grow more and more strained, the film evolves into a class war that pits the refined against the uncouth, offering a sharp critique of the materialistic shallowness that comes with privilege.

Showtimes: Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 9 pm, Milliken Auditorium and Saturday, July 31, 2010, 9 pm, Old Town Playhouse

Me and Orson Welles
2008 | UK | PG-13 | 114 min.

Orson Welles may be best remembered for his work as director/writer/producer/actor in films like “Citizen Kane” and “The Lady from Shanghai,” but even before hitting it big on the silver screen, he enjoyed a rather successful theater career. This film by Richard Linklater follows a wannabe teenage actor as he somewhat haphazardly gets cast in the Welles-helmed 1937 staging of a modern “Julius Caesar.” Anchored by a phenomenal performance by Christian McKay as Welles, this Manhattan-set period piece is a treat for lovers of stage and screen.

Showtimes: Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 9:30 am, Lars Hockstad and Saturday, July 31, 2010, 3 pm, State Theatre

When We Leave
2010 | Germany | NR | 119 min.

Trapped in an abusive marriage in Istanbul, Umay decides she’s had enough. With her 5-year-old son Cem, Umay makes a clandestine escape to her family’s home in Berlin. Initially welcoming of their daughter’s “visit,” Umay’s staunchly traditional family soon starts pushing her to return to her husband despite her pleas. Umay is forced to flee with her son once again after her father and brother attempt to kidnap Cem and bring him back to his father. This multi-award winning debut feature may leave you unable to move at its conclusion—it’s a top must-see. In Person: Director Feo Aladag

Showtimes: Friday, July 30, 2010, 3 pm, State Theatre and Sunday, August 1, 2010, noon, Lars Hockstad

Welcome
2008 | France | NR | 110 min.

17-year-old Iraqi refugee Bilal is nearing the end of an arduous 2,500 mile journey, on a mission to reunite with his girlfriend Mina in England. All that stands in his way now is the English Channel—and seemingly insurmountable security measures aimed at deterring illegal immigrants from crossing. Bilal finds an unlikely friend in Simon, a middle-aged swimming coach at a public pool in Calais with his own girl problems. Bilal hatches a plan: with Simon’s help, he’ll swim the Channel. This compelling drama manages to keep its politics at the personal level, offering a chance to step into an immigrant’s shoes.

Showtimes: Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 3 pm, Old Town Playhouse and Sunday, August 1, 2010, 9:30 am, Milliken Auditorium

Will You Marry Us?
2009 | Switz. | NR | 90 min.

Set in small-town Switzerland, this affectionate, brilliant rom-com centers on Rahel, a civil registrar who performs the town’s marriages. Her life is thrown for a loop when her now-famous former bandmate Ben shows up in the quiet town. Ben is looking for a place out of the limelight to get hitched to his movie star girlfriend, and asks Rahel to perform the ceremony. But the situation gets dicey when Rahel, who is having problems of her own with her cheating husband, realizes that her feelings for Ben are stronger than ever. This irresistible comedy is a joy to watch.

Showtimes: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 6 pm, State Theatre and Sunday, August 1, 2010, 9 pm, Lars Hockstad

The Trotsky
2009 | Canada | NR | 114 min.

Privileged 17-year-old Montreal student Leon Bronstein is the reincarnation of celebrated Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky. Or maybe he’s not. But that doesn’t stop him from initiating a hunger strike at his father’s workplace or organizing the student’s union at his new public school. Living his life by flashcards with bullet points from Trotsky’s life (No. 9: Get assassinated), Leon sets off on a campaign to rally his fellow classmates to action. But will they answer the call? This outlandish film plays out as a rare brand of high school comedy that eschews sex (well, not entirely) in favor of political action. In Person: Director Jacob Tierney

Showtimes: Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 9 pm, Lars Hockstad and Thursday, July 29, 2010, 3 pm, City Opera House

Solitary Man
2009 | USA | R | 90 min.

Michael Douglas stars with Mary-Louise Parker, Susan Sarandon and Danny DeVito in this dark comedy about an aging anti-hero lothario who finds himself mired in a mid-life catastrophe after his wife leaves him and his successful empire of car dealerships crumbles around him in the wake of a self-inflicted scandal. Ben’s compulsive womanizing gets him into even more trouble after his new girlfriend asks him to accompany her teenage daughter to college. But the visit to his alma mater only amplifies Ben’s unreserved behavior in this sharply written story with a top-notch cast.

Showtimes: Thursday, July 29, 2010, noon, State Theatre and Sunday, August 1, 2010, 9 pm, City Opera House

Tiny Furniture
2009 | USA | NR | 98 min.

Lena Dunham wrote, directed and starred in this breakout feature, winner of Best Narrative Feature at SXSW, a hotbed for up-and-coming American indie talent. Dunham plays Aura, a college grad who returns home from her liberal arts school to her artistic family’s Tribeca loft with nothing but a useless film theory degree and 357 hits on her YouTube page. Disarmingly funny and self-aware (it’s set in Dunham’s real-life apartment, and her mother and sister play versions of themselves), this refreshingly real portrait of post-college ennui features a sharp, scathingly funny script.

Showtime: Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 9 pm, City Opera House

12th & Delaware
2009 | USA | NR | 80 min.

An abortion clinic occupies one side of the intersection of 12th and Delaware in the small town of Fort Pierce, FL; just across the street, an anti-abortion center counsels pregnant women against abortion and regularly protests their pro-choice neighbors. With incredible access to both facilities and the women who use their services, this superbly crafted, emotionally charged doc from Oscar-nominated directors Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing places us smack in the middle of one of America’s most passionately fought ideological wars. In Person (Fri.): Director Heidi Ewing

Showtimes: Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 3 pm, Old Town Playhouse and Friday, July 30, 2010, 6 pm, City Opera House

Listings courtesy of Traverse Magazine [more...]

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