The Straight Story is arguably the best Hollywood exploration of life in Iowa, perhaps in all of the Midwest. In 1999, David Lynch, then famous for his TV series Twin Peaks, his cult classic Eraserhead, and his highly acclaimed Blue Velvet, astonished everyone by directing a G-rated Disney produced film set in rural Iowa. The film is based on the true story of septuagenarian Alvin Straight of Laurens, Iowa, who drove his riding-mower tractor across much of the state and part of Wisconsin to reconnect with his brother after a prolonged estrangement. The Straight Story is a cinematic wonder as it combines top-tier performances by Richard Farnsworth and Sissy Spacek with landscapes, cultural notes, and dialogue that capture the feel of life in rural Iowa.
Celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Straight Story at this screening.
Then, on April 10 at 5:30 pm, meet James Cada, the Twin Cities based actor who played Danny Riordan in The Straight Story, in person at Luther College as he talks about the film and the social roles of artists and the arts.