Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Features · Christina
. . . .


Erin Cowell - July 12th, 2010
Christina: Leland-based film company premiers psychological drama
By Erin Crowell
Hollywood comes to Northern Michigan a bit early this summer – with
the Traverse City Film Festival still three weeks away, the State
Theater will offer a special red carpet event on Sunday, July 18, with
the premier of “Christina,” the independent film set in Post World War
II Berlin.
Inspired by a true story, the film is about a young German woman who
attempts to escape the war-ravaged city with her G.I. fiancée to start
life anew in America.
There’s only one thing standing in their way: a police detective,
bound and determined to prevent Christina from escaping the
country…and her past.

“Christina” is presented by Leland-based 8180 Films and is the
production company’s first film since owners Rebecca Reynolds and Jim
Carpenter started the company in 2007.
There will be two showings for “Christina,” 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.; with
the first already sold-out. Each screening will be followed by a Q&A
with director Larry Brand and the cast.
With serious connections in the film industry, 8180 has produced a
small budget film with Hollywood proportions – using some of the best
film equipment in the biz, as well as some high caliber acting talent.
The film stars Stephen Lang as the tenacious Inspector Reinhardt. Lang
has starred in several films including “The Men Who Stare at Goats”
(2009), “Public Enemies” (2009); and is probably most credited for his
role in James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster “Avatar” as the muscular,
ego-popping Colonel Quaritch.
“We needed someone with a monstrous presence. Not a monster, but
someone with a presence that commands attention,” explains the film’s
executive producer and co-owner of 8180 Films Rebecca Reynolds. “We
had people coming up to us asking, ‘Where did you get the German
actor?” she says of Lang. “They were stunned when they found out who
he was. A guy at one of our earlier screenings told me he spent the
entire movie looking for Stephen Lang.”
“It’s an absolute testament to his flexibility in various roles,” adds
Larry Brand, writer and director.
Starring in the title role is Nicki Aycox, who appeared in both
sequels of “Jeepers Creepers” (2003) and “Joy Ride” (2008), and who
currently stars opposite Dylan McDermott in the TV series “Deep Blue.”
“For Christina’s role, we needed someone with a fearless emotional
range,” says Reynolds.
In the role of Christina’s G.I. boyfriend, Billy Calvert, is actor
Jordan Belfi – most commonly known for his regular appearances on the
HBO series “Entourage” as sleazy talent agent Adam Davies. Belfi also
appeared in the 2009 film “Surrogates,” starring Bruce Willis.
“These are the best three actors I’ve ever worked with,” says Brand,
who wrote the screenplay for 2009’s “Halloween: Resurrection”
(starring Jamie Lee Curtis). “I’ve worked with a couple Academy
nominees, some really brilliant actors; but (Lang, Aycox and Belfi)
were the absolute highest quality.”

Reynolds says the strength of the script is what attracted the acting talent.
Brand, Reynolds and Carpenter chose the story for their first film
after Brand heard about it through a family friend.
“The soldier involved in the true story was someone who my friend
knew. He came back with this story of falling in love with this German
girl who wasn’t who he thought she was,” says Brand.
“Christina” tells a different perspective of World War II, mainly that
of the individuals whose lives were changed personally.
“I wanted to be able to tell a World War II story with all the
emotional ups and downs, all the emotional stress, but without
externalizing it,” says Brand. “Obviously we don’t have explosions,
tank battles or air raids. That’s not what this movie is about. It’s
about the personal experience of war through three characters.”
Reynolds says that lack of physical action and special effects made
the film cheaper to shoot.
But that doesn’t mean it was easy.
“We only had 12 days to shoot,” she says.
“They are extremely intense performances and it’s a complicated
psychological drama,” adds Brand. “You have to convey a sense of
reality, so you can’t put in a half effort.”

Brand and Reynolds have known each other for 30 years, helping one
another on projects, offering an outside perspective on certain
scripts or even the heads up on certain film ideas.
“What frequently happens in this business is you tend to work on your
friend’s projects, whether I directed something, (Reynolds) produced
something and what-not. There’s a lot of cross-pollination,” says
That’s how many of the connections were made in the filming of
“Christina.” Cinematographer/producer Kees Van Oostrum had worked with
Reynolds on the HBO series “Ari$$,” while costume designer Jacqueline
Saint Anne also worked with Reynolds on a couple HBO projects.
Anne had access to all the necessary costumes for the film.
“It’s a time period piece, so it was more convenient to shoot it in
Burbank, California where (Anne) had access to a warehouse the size of
Building 50 (in Traverse City),” says Reynolds. “All the clothing is
organized by time period, color, material.”
8180 Films is already in the planning process for their next film,
which will be shot closer to home.
“It’s a modern piece in a rural setting, so this area is perfect,”
says Reynolds.
Reynolds and Carpenter have been actively involved in local film. They
served as side founders and board members of the By the Bay Film
Series in Suttons Bay for 10 years before making the decision to start
their own film company.
“With By the Bay, our goal was to show independent films with complex
characters,” says Reynolds, “which is what we’ve done with

While “Christina” is showing in Northern Michigan for the first time,
the film has already been screened at several film festivals across
the country, taking awards along the way, including Best Film,
Director, Actor, Actress and Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking at
the Buffalo-Niagra and Newport Beach film festivals, as well as
Outstanding Achievement in Writing and Outstanding Achievement in
Acting – Male Role (Stephen Lang) at New York City’s VISIONFEST 10.

Tickets for the 9 p.m. showing at the Traverse City State Theater are
still available, at $10 a piece, and include a Q&A with all three cast
members and crew.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5