Letters

Letters 02-08-2016

Less Ageism, Please The January 4 issue of this publication proved to me that there are some sensible voices of reason in our community regarding all things “inter-generational.” I offer a word of thanks to Elizabeth Myers. I too have worked hard for what I’ve earned throughout my years in the various positions I’ve held. While I too cannot speak for each millennial, brash generalizations about a lack of work ethic don’t sit well with me...Joe Connolly, Traverse City

Now That’s an Escalation I just read the letter from Greg and his defense of the AR15. The letter started with great information but then out of nowhere his opinion went off the rails. “The government wants total gun control and then confiscation; then the elimination of all Constitutional rights.” Wait... what?! To quote the great Ron Burgundy, “Well, that escalated quickly!”

Healthy Eating and Exercise for Children Healthy foods and exercise are important for children of all ages. It is important for children because it empowers them to do their best at school and be able to do their homework and study...

Mascots and Harsh Native American Truths The letter from the Choctaw lady deserves an answer. I have had a gutful of the whining about the fate of the American Indian. The American Indians were the losers in an imperial expansion; as such, they have, overall, fared much better than a lot of such losers throughout history. Everything the lady complains about in the way of what was done by the nasty, evil Whites was being done by Indians to other Indians long before Europeans arrived...

Snyder Must Go I believe it’s time. It’s time for Governor Snyder to go. The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the EPA Criminal Investigation Division are now investigating the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of people. Governor Snyder signed the legislation that established the Emergency Manager law. Since its inception it has proven to be a dismal failure...

Erosion of Public Trust Let’s look at how we’ve been experiencing global warming. Between 1979 and 2013, increases in temperature and wind speeds along with more rain-free days have combined to stretch fire seasons worldwide by 20 percent. In the U.S., the fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s...

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

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.

HIGH CALIBER HOLLYWOOD
“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.”

STRENGTH IN THE SCRIPT
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.”

CONNECTIONS
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
Brand.
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
‘Christina.’”

RAKING IT IN
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.

 
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