The Complete Line-Up for Michael Moore's 2010 Traverse City Film Festival

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    Buy Tickets Now!

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 janitorialposition 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 hatchesa 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    Buy Tickets Now!

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 ayoung 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    Buy Tickets Now!

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 wasto 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    Buy Tickets Now!

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 thatshe’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    Buy Tickets Now!

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    Buy Tickets Now!

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    Buy Tickets Now!

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” — wasa 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    Buy Tickets Now!

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    Buy Tickets Now!

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-lovingAgnes. 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    Buy Tickets Now!

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    Buy Tickets Now!

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