By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival Announces LIneup

 
THE TRAVERSE CITY FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2017 LINEUP WITH NEW VENUES, SPECIAL SCREENINGS, AND MORE
The 13th Annual Traverse City Film Festival, July 25-30, which will bring over 1000 movies to scenic Northern Michigan.
Big change has come to the festival and the world since we last gathered on the beautiful shores of TC to celebrate movies, but there are still some things you can always count on at the TCFF: the volunteers will be friendly, the out-of-town filmmakers will learn that pasties aren’t just for burlesque shows, and we will always show Just Great Movies.
The movies I’ve selected this year are bold, brave, larger-than-life stories that made me laugh, and sometimes cry, but always left me with a sense of hope and wonder. I can’t wait for you to see them.
As you go through this incredible list of movies, please note some of this year’s special happenings:
  • Two new (temporary) big screens: Kirkbride Hall at Grand Traverse Commons and the newly renovated auditorium in Central High School–transformed into cinemas by the same technical geniuses who remade the State Theatre, City Opera House, Old Town Playhouse, Con Foster Museum, and our other venerable venues into world-class movie theaters. Check ’em out, they’ll be this year’s hot tickets. (Central Grade School is closed for the summer, but returns next year!)
  • The Travel Ban Sidebar, featuring seven daring and beautiful stories that celebrate our connected world.
  • The Buzz — free movies and events, all day — will be moving around to different venues this year. Look for the FREE listings in every time slot.
  • Panels are also on the move. No longer stuck at the City Opera House every morning, we’re changing up the times and locations of the free daily panels so that more people can enjoy them.
  • Food on Film is Supersized. Enjoy more special screenings featuring candid conversations with chefs and filmmakers and sample bites of food inspired by the films.
  • Movies Around the Bay now goes further around the bay with the addition of the beautiful new Lyric Theatre in Harbor Springs kicking things off. Enjoy a week of movies before the festival begins and help relieve your schedule log jam.
  • Great guests! Film lover, critic, and historian extraordinaire Leonard Maltin will be joining us in TC. You’ll see him around the fest as well as recording his Nerdist Podcast, Maltin on Movies. And speaking of movies and podcasts, TC’s adopted son Doug Benson returns bringing new funny friends, and maybe running into another TCFF 2017 funnyman, guest Gilbert Gottfried.
  • The 117 feature films and the filmmakers we’re announcing today are just the beginning. Exciting announcements will follow in the coming days.
  • And if the hologram system we’ve been testing succeeds, you’ll see me floating above the Open Space on clear, moonless nights.
You can view the entire schedule of movies and events online, or you can download a PDF. Pick up a printed guide at the State Theatre, Bijou by the Bay, and other locations all around town, or in copies of the Record-Eagle later this week.
Tickets go on sale to our Friends of the Film Festival on July 9 and to the general public on July 15. Prices remain the same for the fourth year in a row, and there are dozens of free films and events so that everyone can participate.
Thank you, everyone, for your support. These crazy times call for community, creativity, and a loving approach to defining our future. Let’s celebrate the amazing work coming out of the countries our current president wants to ban, and let’s continue to enjoy “Just Great Movies,” and the incredible filmmakers who create them.
All my best,
Michael Moore
ABOUT THE TRAVERSE CITY FILM FESTIVAL
The Traverse City Film Festival is a charitable, educational, nonprofit organization committed to the idea that “One Great Movie Can Change You: Just Great Movies” and to helping save one of America’s few indigenous art forms – the cinema. The festival brings films and filmmakers from around the world to northern Michigan for the annual film festival in late July to early August.
It was instrumental in renovating a shuttered historic downtown movie house, the State Theatre, which it continues to own and operate as a year-round, community-based, and volunteer-staffed art house movie theater. The festival also renovated the historic Con Foster Museum building in Clinch Park and turned it into a sister screen for the State Theatre, the Bijou by the Bay.
The festival was founded by Academy Award-winning director Michael Moore who makes his home here, runs the festival, and serves as president of the board of directors. Other board members are filmmakers Rod Birleson (producer, “Capitalism: A Love Story”), Larry Charles (director, “Borat”), Terry George (director, “Hotel Rwanda”), Jeff Daniels (actor, “The Newsroom”), Tom Morello (musician, Rage Against the Machine), Christine Lahti (actor, “Running on Empty”), Mark Cousins (director, “The Story of Film: An Odyssey”), Tia Lessin (director, “Trouble the Water”), as well as Traverse City residents photographer John Robert Williams and former Walt Disney Co. marketing executive Penny Milliken.

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“You know, I was never a critic. I never considered myself as a film critic. I started doing short films, writing screenplays and then for awhile, for a few years I wrote some film theory, including some film criticism because I had to, but I was never… I never had the desire to be a film critic. I never envisioned myself as a film critic, but I did that at a period of my life when I thought I kind of needed to understand things about cinema, understand things about film theory, understand the world map of cinema, and writing about movies gave me that, and also the opportunity to meet filmmakers I admired.

“To me, it was the best possible film school. The way it changed my perspective I suppose is that I believe in this connection between theory and practice. I think that you also make movies with ideas and you need to have ideas about filmmaking to achieve whatever you’re trying to achieve through your movies, but then I started making features in 1986 — a while ago — and I left all that behind.

“For the last three decades I’ve been making movies, I’ve been living, I’ve been observing the world. You become a different person, so basically my perspective on the world in general is very different and I hope that with every movie I make a step forward. I kind of hope I’m a better person, and hopefully a better filmmaker and hopefully try to… It’s very hard for me to go back to a different time when I would have different values in my relationship to filmmaking. I had a stiffer notion of cinema.”
~ Olivier Assayas

A Spirited Exchange

“In some ways Christopher Nolan has become our Stanley Kubrick,” reads the first sentence of David Bordwell’s latest blog post–none of which I want or intend to read after that desperate opening sentence. If he’d written “my” or “some people’s” instead of “our”, I might have read further. Instead, I can only surmise that in some ways David Bordwell may have become our Lars von Trier.”
~ Jonathan Rosenbaum On Facebook

“Jonathan has written a despicable thing in comparing me to Trump. He’s free to read or not read what I write, and even to judge arguments without reading them. It’s not what you’d expect from a sensible critic, but it’s what Jonathan has chosen to do, for reasons of a private nature he has confided to me in an email What I request from him is an apology for comparing my ideas to Trump’s.”
~ David Bordwell Replies

“Yes, I do apologize, sincerely, for such a ridiculous and quite unwarranted comparison. The private nature of my grievance with David probably fueled my post, but it didn’t dictate it, even though I’m willing to concede that I overreacted. Part of what spurred me to post something in the first place is actually related to a positive development in David’s work–an improvement in his prose style ever since he wrote (and wrote very well) about such elegant prose stylists as James Agee and Manny Farber. But this also brought a journalistic edge to his prose, including a dramatic flair for journalistic ‘hooks’ and attention-grabbers, that is part of what I was responding to. Although I realize now that David justifies his opening sentence with what follows, and far less egregiously than I implied he might have, I was responding to the drum roll of that opening sentence as a provocation, which it certainly was and is.”
~ Jonathan Rosenbaum Replies