Emory Cinemateque: “The Straight Story” (1999)

Lynch The Art Life Older
emory cinemateque
Wednesday November 8, 2023 12:00 AM EST
Cost: Free

From the venue:

Emory Cinematheque Presents “The Cinematic Worlds of David Lynch”

Given the vivid, oftentimes violent, and sexually explicit nature of Lynch’s films since Blue Velvet, it came as surprise to both his fans and detractors when his name appeared attached to a G-rated film distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on the true story of septuagenarian Alvin Straight’s 240-mile road odyssey via John Deere lawnmower to reconnect with his ailing brother, the film stars Richard Farnsworth as Straight, Sissy Spacek as Rose, his intellectually disabled daughter, and Harry Dean Stanton as Lyle, Straight’s infirm and estranged sibling. Beautifully photographed by cinematographer Freddie Francis, The Straight Story is tender, accessible, and uplifting, hence Lynch’s description of the film as his “most experimental.”

The Straight Story was indeed a surprising detour for Lynch since it received widespread critical acclaim, even if it failed to reach a broad audience. Farnsworth, who came out of retirement to play Alvin Straight as he courageously battled terminal cancer, was singled out by critics for the authenticity of his performance. The 79-year-old former stuntman would go on to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in what would be his final role.

White Hall, Room 208
301 Dowman Dr, Atlanta, GA 30322

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