GTPulse: Traverse City’s Smallest Film Festival Hosts its Second Award Show

Gary Oldman hated his performance as Sid Vicious in the 1986 cult film Sid and Nancy. He fully committed himself to the role, even dieting down to such a frail weight that he had to be hospitalized. He won’t watch the movie to this day because he hated his performance so much, but little does he know that he was up for a movie award in Traverse City this past Saturday on Webster Street. I wouldn’t have known any of this about Gary, but movie facts like these are exactly the kind of info that locals Max Peterson and Karl Hartley are chock full of and they’ve put their extensive movie knowledge to good use with their passion project and podcast Measuring Flicks.

The Traverse City Film Festival brings movie fans from all over together for a week each summer, but Max and Karl geek out over films all year long.

The two met while working at the now closed Bistro FouFou. During a lull between rushes they found themselves leaned up against the bar swapping observations and spicy takes on different movies they’ve watched and loved. Knowing they both had an abundance of knowledge and passion towards all things movie-related, they decided to start Measuring Flicks Podcast. Every week for a year they discuss a movie and talk about topics like cinematography, writing, acting, cultural nuances and interesting behind the scenes facts. At the end of their year-long season they host what they call the Quill and Filmies Awards.

“Every three months, we take all the movies that we talked about, we put them in a hat, and we pull out two at a time and debate and pick which one we like better, and then at the end of the year, we have four winners. Then we take one from the floor, we call it the Dark Horse, put it back in, and then we shoot out those five and pick our flick of the year,” Max said.

Each year has a theme that’s somehow related to March, the month they begin and end their season in. Last year’s theme was March Madness. 

“Our first-ever theme was March Madness. We did movies about crazy people, and then for season three we’re doing the Ides of March, which is a Shakespeare quote about assassins so we’re doing all assassin movies,” Max said.

Karl and Max alternate weeks picking which movie will be the one watched and discussed for the show, and there are no rules on how new or old the movie has to be, as long as they can somehow tie the movie back to the year’s theme.

“I feel like our show is almost like a little micro film festival every month because the movies we’re doing aren’t like current run movies. They’re like, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and stuff that came out years ago. A lot of it is sort of more obscure too,” Karl said.

Last year’s award ceremony consisted of Karl, Max and both of their spouses gathered around a kitchen table reading off categories and winners for the podcast. This year’s award show was about 10 people hanging out, listening and watching short clips for each film nominated in a category. There are 22 categories in all ranging from the expected (Best Actor), to the unexpected (Sexiest Cigarette) and a few funny, but inappropriate categories that might make you blush.

Projections for the festival’s growth are good. Going from four people to ten people is an increase in attendees that Max and Karl are proud of, and they only hope to grow the festival more.

“The ultimate goal, the ultimate dream is Bijou or State Theatre,” Karl said.

With the humor and passion they’ve put into the first two seasons of Measuring Flicks, next year’s award ceremony is sure to be just as fun, quirky and cool as this year’s, if not more.

Categories: GTPulse