Posts Tagged 'photo'

2010 ArtPrize photo contest

Prizing the art

Prizing the art, photo by tinney.

ArtPrize is holding a photo contest for photos added to the ArtPrize Flickr group. Click that link for the details and submit your photos to any or all of the following categories for a chance to win prizes!

  • installed art
  • public reactions/interaction with art
  • venues
  • artists
  • events (any ArtPrize related event)
  • voting (all forms)

Check Dustin’s photo out bigger and check out the ArtPrize 2010 slideshow on Flickr.

Much more ArtPrize on Absolute Michigan!


Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival: Day Two

Michael Moore & John Waters at the Traverse City Comedy Arts FestivalMike BurbigliaWhitney Cummings

The second day of the Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival featured some big name comedians: John Waters, Whitney Cummings, Jeff Garlin, Mike Burbiglia, John Waters and Roseanne Barr. Check out the Traverse City Comedy Festival slideshow on Flickr to see them in action.

I got to sit in on an interview with Jeff Garlin and Whitney Cummings. When asked if there would be a year two for the Comedy Fest, Jeff said “All the shows are sold out – of course” and leaked a few details on next year’s festival including a Thursday night opening party and headliner.

Whitney noted that unlike a lot of other comedy festivals, this one seems a lot less geared to agents and their blackberries and more about comedians and comedy.

Traverse City Film Festival Wrapup

Fifth annual event draws biggest attendance numbers ever

TRAVERSE CITY, MI (Aug. 3, 2009) — The Traverse City Film Festival marked its fifth anniversary year with record-setting admissions and turnouts for free nightly films on the waterfront, along with the announcement of a new Comedy Festival to kick off this winter. Continue reading ‘Traverse City Film Festival Wrapup’

Movie Review: Learning Gravity

by Cherie Spaulding

Editor’s Note: Learning Gravity won the Michigan Prize for best film about or shot in Michigan. Lynch is known for such literary works as The Undertaking. More about him at

Walking down Union Street before show time on Friday I wandered into a downtown antique store for a look at all of the recycled life looming in our town. Before long, I stumbled upon the tackle and tool section and found a treasure–an old fly fishing rod and reel. Silvery-blue, even with a matte finish it sparkled. I had been casually considering a fly rod purchase for some time, so it was a bit of a present to find such a stylish one and light–suitable for a beginner itching to liberate her waders from the unemployment line.

Tied in twine the metallic blue rod and I moseyed up the street to catch the film, Learning Gravity. Hearing the remarks that a woman and a fishing rod receive in the matter of a two block stretch was comical. Though lacking originality with the “catching anything?” inquiry, time and again, I appreciated the willingness of those passing by to acknowledge the absurdity even at the price of my own anonymity. Pleasantly pleased to think my fellow movie goers still had a pulse–still observed their surroundings and embraced the scene with a sense of humor. After all, what value does life have without connection?

Learning Gravity is a documentary film that explores the work of Thomas Lynch, an under-taker in Southern Michigan, who happens to also be a poet and essayist. Lynch descends from an under-taking family and shares the business with many of his relatives, much of his immediate family included. The first time I heard a Thomas Lynch poem, he was being interviewed on an N.P.R segment, five or six years ago. Wintertime had settled upon Traverse and I still recall it was a gray and lonely kind of day. In a strange and magnificent way, however, Lynch’s piece spoke to me, awakening a springtime of thought. Death is not exactly an uplifting topic for many, but I was grateful–in the dead of winter–to be considering the possibilities for rich contemplation in in the heart of a heavy storm.

Q&A for Thomas Lynch's Learning GravityQuiet contemplation is essentially what Lynch does best. Cathal Black directs the piece, and in his efforts he honors the solitary elements of Lynch’s journey–his quest to consider the value of human life beyond the scope of a last breath. Lynch reacquaints his audience with the cultural importance of honoring the dead, how the act and ceremony of funerals is an act of completing the cycle of the human experience. Of course, he acknowledges that our rituals not intended to aid the dead in their process. Instead, the living are served, supported in their journey through their waking lives. By honoring the dead we pay the greatest homage to life imaginable. Again, what value and meaning would our lives have without the guarantee of mortality?

Though I have seen other documentary pieces about Lynch and his family, in Learning Gravity, Black transforms the meaning of Lynch’s work to its visual form–a medium that is multi-sensory. By bringing Lynch’s poetry to life on the big screen, the film captures an audience beyond the typical scope of the work, and for a guitar-less poet, that is impressive. In Learning Gravity, Lynch’s contemplative work finds new life.

Photo Credits: The sun sets in TCXL by Dagmar Cunningham and Q&A for Thomas Lynch’s Learning Gravity by tcfilmfest (Thom Powers, Director Cathal Black and Thomas Lynch at the Q&A after Learning Gravity.)

Traverse City Film Festival: Day 5

Comedian Jeff Garlin and director Larry Charles share a light moment before the Comedy panel discussion on August 1, 2009. photo by Gary L Howe.

One of the coolest things about the festival for me has been talking with people like Jeff and Larry and hearing how much they’re enjoying Traverse City and the state of Michigan. Having truly funny people like these guys introducing films makes it almost like getting a free comedy show thrown in!

This photo is part of the Day 5 set of photos from the TC Film Fest photographers. Check them all out right here.

On Location: 2009 Traverse City Film Festival

Our next stop is the 2009 Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF) which takes place July 28 through August 2 in Traverse City, Michigan.

This is the 5th year, and the annual festival has grown to become one of the largest film festivals in the Midwest and one of the most respected in the country. Last year, there were over 80,000 admissions to nearly 100 screenings, a number of them U.S. or world premieres. A special emphasis is given to foreign films, American independents, documentaries, and films which have been overlooked but deserve the attention of a public starved to see a good movie.

The festival also features some excellent panels with filmmakers and other experts exploring documentary filmmaking, comedy, the new film mecca of the West Bank and Gaza and other subjects.

We’ll pay special attention to the Michigan Film Office Advisory Council Meeting which takes place on Friday, July 31st. Council members will hold their regular meeting and then take questions from the audience regarding the booming Michigan film industry.

There’s also the new TCFF Film School, parties and even free outdoor movies. Through it all, Absolute Michigan will be there and we invite you to share your comments and also to share your photos in the Traverse City Film Festival Group on Flickr. We’ll also be partnering with Interlochen Public Radio and featuring their coverage. Chekc the right bar for their posts and also for Twitter and blog feeds from TCFF!

Rothbury Wrap: Video, Photos & Features from the 2009 Rothbury Music Festival

Rothbury - Out of This World by tinmantaberWe’ll probably be going through footage and film from Rothbury 2009 for weeks to come, and we’ll be updating this post through the year to make sure we have everything you need to know about Rothbury 2009. Have something to add? Post a comment!

mLive reports that according to Lt. David Roesler of the Michigan State Police, Rothbury had an estimated paid attendance of just under 34,000 (closer to 36,000 when volunteers, staff and comps were added). You can get more numbers and some great links from Wikipedia’s Rothbury Festival entry.

One of the most interesting things for me about the Festival was meeting people from right here in Michigan who I hadn’t been aware of. Michigan songwriter Ralston Bowles (who was voted on to the island by fans through Facebook & emails) was one of those and his performance right before Willie Nelson was just one of the ways that Michigan shone at Rothbury.

Another group of Michigan folks who I was happy to meet were the folks from WYCE and the Community Media Center of Grand Rapids. They produced some great interviews including one with Grace Potter (of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals) one of Spin magazine’s 11 must hear bands at Rothbury that kicks off with a great acoustic solo. Some of their other interviews include Muskegon’s own Four Finger Five (one of my favorites), the MacPodz, Brett Dennen, Guster and Ani DiFranco.

Ribbon Dancer by tinmantaberOur Absolute Michigan team included a pair of alumni of the Leelanau School in Glen Arbor: Richard Taber and Ryan Thompson. Richard got some stunning photos and I hear that Ryan hangs with Twitter’s David Lee Rothbury. Together they collaborated on some great videos including a report from the biodiesel think tank and interviews with mycologist Paul Stamets, Erin Zindle from The Ragbirds (who appreciated Rothbury’s attention to “green details”) and the slideshow below of photos from the Rothbury Think Tanks and other scenes from the festival…

Those Think Tanks were one of the things that sets Rothbury apart from other festivals. Another thing was the dedication to Michigan musicians. When I spoke with Rothbury producer Jeremy Stein (along with reps from the Detroit News & mLive) he said that Rothbury felt it was critical to keep Michigan artists in the spotlight. He also talked about their commitment to integrating with the local economy to maximize the multi-million dollar impact of a festival that employs over 3500 people.

Rothbury Festival 2009We camped with the folks from Porterhouse Productions who have a few reports on their blog. Portherhouse founder Sam Porter and I talked with musician Brett Dennen who had some interesting thoughts about how to carry the festival experience further – look for more about that in the months to come.

Anne Savage of Revolutionary Views put together some tasty panoramas from Rothbury (complete with ambient sound) and also has a cool slideshow from Rothbury 2009.

Oh yeah. I had media access and remembered to pull out my camera every so often. Some of my favorites are in my Rothbury 2009 set (slideshow).

You can see a whole lot more photos from Rothbury (and share your own) in the Rothbury 2009 pool on Flickr.

Of course, there was music at Rothbury. Some highlights include live audio recordings from Rothbury at including:  Railroad Earth, Yonder Mountain String Band, Guster, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Steppin In It, the Ragbirds and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (no Dead show, but I’m sure that will be coming).

YouTube is of course not to be denied. A few favorites are Bob DylanLes Claypool, Railroad Earth, The Black Crowes, STS9’s Michael Jackson tribute, John Butler Trio doing Zebra, Flogging Molly, Umphrey’s McGee with a Pink Floyd cover, Broken Social Scene, The Quannum All Stars, Girl Talk (check out the crowd surfing), Damian Marley, Government Mule w/ guest Grace Potter, (and the light show to match), String Cheese Incident, Toots and the Maytalls and the Dead (also see the fireworks & US Blues – the sound is pretty rough but the video is amazing!)

And as always, add your links, photos & video for Rothbury in the comments!

Photo Credits