The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, in partnership with the Capri Theater and the Minnesota Historical Society, presents a compelling line-up of films and conversation leaders to begin the 2019-20 season of First Thursday Films, screening this year at North Community High School, 1500 James Ave. N. North High serves as the alternate location for the series while the Capri is closed for expansion and renovation. (Full list of films, below.**)
“We begin our fourth year of the First Thursday Films series at North High with enthusiasm and anticipation,” said Susan Smoluchowski, Executive Director of the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul. “The Film Society’s mission is to inform and transform individuals and communities through the power of cinema, and First Thursday Films, which is also a part of the program Black Cinema: Under the Skin, has been both a programming and a mission landmark for us. We look forward to expanding its reach this year and into the future.”
First Thursdays Films are intended to open eyes, hearts and minds to the power of film and the value of this neighborhood film series, where people gather to experience a movie together in one room.
“The regular conversations after First Thursday Films really set this series apart,” said Craig Laurence Rice who programs First Thursdays for the Film Society. “Audience members have told me they’re coming primarily for the discussions after the films. And on many occasions, we’ve heard eloquent, deeply moving responses to films that raised the bar of human understanding and empathy.”
The conversation leaders for the first five First Thursday Films include Rice; Macalester professor and author, Duchess Harris; singer and public speaker Jearlyn Steele; attorney James Selmer, and KARE 11 film producers Lindsey Seavert and Ben Garvin.
The opening film of the season is Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. Universal Pictures has issued a remastered 4K restoration of the film in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of this still-topical movie starring Spike Lee, Ossie Davis, Samuel Jackson, Danny Aiello and Ruby Dee. Richard Brody, in The New Yorker, writes of the “enduring urgency” of the film at 30: “Do the Right Thing is grand, vital, and mournful; it is also, crucially, proud, a work not only of the agony of history—and of present-tense oppressions—but also of the historic cultural achievements of black Americans, and it takes its own place in the artistic history that it invokes.”
“Each film in this series brings history to life in an eloquent way, adding an extra dimension to the insights we gather and the conversations we have together,” said Rebecca Gillette, Manager of Community Programs & Evaluation for the Minnesota Historical Society.
All films begin at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. Tickets are $5 and are available in advance at mspfilm.org or at the door the night of the show. A map and directions to North High are available at thecapritheater.org.
“We’re grateful to North High for opening their doors to us, and we look forward to welcoming students, teachers, parents, alumni, friends and neighbors to this fantastic series of films and conversations,” said Capri Director James Scott.
**First Thursday Films at North High
September 2019 through January 2020
September 5: Do the Right Thing. Conversation Leader, Craig Laurence Rice
October 3: Toni Morrison: The Places I Am. Conversation Leader, Duchess Harris
November 7: Marshall. Conversation Leader, James Selmer
December 5: Amazing Grace. Conversation Leader: Jearlyn Steele
Tentatively scheduled for January 2: Love Them First: Lessons from Lucy Laney Elementary. Conversation Leaders, Lindsey Seavert and Ben Garvin
The remaining films for the season will be announced later this fall. More info: thecapritheater.org, mspfilm.org, mnhs.org.
Note: The Capri Theater is now closed for construction. The new Capri will offer exceptional programs and spaces including a newly renovated theater, a Best Buy Teen Tech Center, community rooms and much more when it reopens in the summer of 2020. For info on the Capri’s expansion and renovation contact Capri Director James Scott, 612-643-2024 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Capri programs are generously supported by Target.