Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · Student Frame-UP
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Student Frame-UP

Doug Stanton - March 24th, 2008
For the past several months, area high school teachers and I have worked to put kids into the movie mix of the State Theatre in downtown Traverse City.
Now on the third Monday of every month, you’ll see high school kids put on quite a show. They take tickets, sell popcorn, and present a student and major feature film. Prior to the curtain opening, they promote their movie pick to the local media.
Each of the three area high schools—TC Central, TC West and Suttons Bay—has formed a chapter under the overall umbrella of the High School Student Film Club, which will run year-round. The night kicks off with a screening of a short student film. The student filmmaker comes on stage at the State to answer questions, which is always a lot of fun. After that, the students introduce that night’s feature and explain why their club chose the movie. Student tickets are $6 and the public is welcome at regular admission prices.
For the student’s premiere in January, they screened Rob Reiner’s hilarious Spinal Tap, complete with Traverse City West students in costume, selling the popcorn at the counter. The student short was the crime caper Domination Station and wins the award for “best use of exploding watermelon in a film.”
The second film club night in February featured the western 3:10 To Yuma, the original 1957 version. I asked Elmore Leonard, who wrote the original story, as well as Gretchen Moll, who appeared in the 2007 remake, to grant interviews with our Traverse City Central High School students, and both artists generously agreed. That says a lot about what kind of people they are, and showed the students that doing this kind of thing is not a pie-in-the-sky idea.
The student short was a comic documentary titled Senioritis (Truant officers, to your marks—go!).
The March movie pick—Everything is Illuminated—came from Suttons Bay High School. They kicked it off with a series of animated shorts the Suttons Bay students made in connection with The Art Place, a project headed by photographer Ken Scott.

So this is where you come in. First, I’ve had a blast meeting these bright, energetic students and their committed teachers.
But to make this club even better, we need your support. Most importantly, come to the theatre and witness for yourself what these students have to say about their own movies, and about those they think we should see.
Bring a student with you—they’ll have a great time. After the show, Horizon Books next door to the theatre, offers discounts to students who pull up to the coffee bar needing caffeine before they head home to study. (For Spinal Tap, Horizon made a signature drink with three shots of espresso, called... A Spinal Tap.)
Our fourth student film club night is April 21, with American Graffiti. In the meantime, I’ve asked film director Jim Gartner to do a guest edit of the student films we’ll show April 21, and to take part in the discussion with the film-maker at the screening.
Jim, a Traverse City resident (his wife graduated from Central), made the movie Glory Road with producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
Movie director Terry George, who made Hotel Rwanda and Reservation Road and serves as a Traverse City Film Festival board member, has agreed to be guest director in May.
You can also support the film club by offering up ideas. Do you know anyone working in this art form who’d be willing to lend an hour talking to our students? If you have expertise of any kind— in film editing, for instance—or if you have equipment or money to give, please call us. Perhaps you have space for an instructional lab for students.
So far, the club members have secured a webmaster to donate a website. On it, they plan to talk about film—the good, the funny, and the awful.
Other things the website can cover: upcoming film festivals, student internships with filmmakers, scholarships for film school. The sky’s the limit.

When John Robert Williams, Michael Moore, and myself — board members of the Traverse City Film Festival — assumed ownership of the theatre from Traverse City’s Rotary Charities, we did so on behalf of our town and film-lovers everywhere. We hold the theatre in trust for the benefit of all.
As part of the Rotary mandate, the State provides artistic experiences for the wider community. In that spirit, the State offers highly popular community nights called Cinema Curiosa; Indy Flix; and the Inter-Faith Film series.
All of us at the State Theatre are deeply committed to giving back to the community, which so energetically makes the theatre possible. When I was a student in Traverse City, people took the time to let me see that it was possible to make a life and a living in the arts.
It used to be true, way back in the late disco-era when I was in high school, that everyone talked about moving to the big city where there were good jobs and good movies. We want to put an end to that.
The film club aims to nurture the students’ desire to learn more about movies and make a living with this art form. The moving image is the alphabet of the 21st century.
What makes this possible is new and cheaper digital technology. We have to prepare students who want to take part in this new growth industry. (One of the film club advisors, in fact, wonders if film and video production can’t become part of the vocational-tech program in order to qualify for more funding.)
Having said that, even if you don’t want to make the next No Country For Old Men, life is richer when you understand the art form. A rising tide in arts literacy lifts everybody up.

For more information, contact Charles Rennie of Traverse City West at 932-1967, Doug Stanton at 935-4183, Jim Filkins at Traverse City Central at 933-3546, and Scott Tompkins of Suttons Bay High School at 271-8677.

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