TFAC film series to screen ‘The Straight Story’ on Tuesday

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The “Destinations” film series at Tryon Fine Arts Center continues on Tuesday with “The Straight Story,” a documentary drama about a journey on a riding lawn mower.

Released in 1999, “The Straight Story” tells the true story of Alvin Straight’s 240-mile journey on his John Deere lawn mower tractor to visit his ailing estranged brother, Lyle.

Because of his failing eyesight and subsequent inability to drive a car, Alvin hitches a small trailer to his tractor to make his journey. Traveling at a maximum speed of 5 mph from Laurens, Iowa, to Mount Zion, Wisconsin, Alvin’s journey is far from boring, often gripping and shows a heart-warming side of life in the rural Midwest, TFAC representatives said.

David Lynch’s 1999 film “The Straight Story” will be shown at Tryon Fine Arts Center at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)

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Although the film was not widely seen, it received excellent reviews, such as the following statement by critic Roger Ebert: ”The first time I saw ‘The Straight Story,’ I focused on the foreground and liked it. The second time I focused on the background, too, and loved it. The movie isn’t just about the old Alvin Straight’s odyssey through the sleepy towns and rural districts of the Midwest, but about the people he finds to listen and care for him. You’d think it was a fantasy, this kindness of strangers, if the movie weren’t based on a true story.”

Directed by David Lynch (“Twin Peaks” and “Wild at Heart”) and edited and produced by Mary Sweeney, the film stars Richard Farnsworth as Alvin; Sissy Spacek as Alvin’s daughter, Rose; and Harry Dean Stanton as Lyle. It was nominated for the Palme d’Orat at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival, and Farnsworth was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar that same year.

The doors of Tryon Fine Arts Center will open at 6:15 p.m. for refreshments and social activity. The film will begin at 7 p.m.

More information about this film series and other events at Tryon Fine Arts Center can be found at or by calling 828-859-8322.

– Submitted by Frances Flynn