I attended the local premier of My Sister’s Quinceañera, a movie that was written, directed and produced by Aaron Douglas Johnston, a filmmaker who grew up in Muscatine and now lives in the Netherlands. The movie was filmed in Muscatine in 2012 and released last year.
There are too many stories to tell about this movie and not enough time to adequately tell all of them this morning, including:
- Most of the actors were cast locally. It was cool to see Hazel Green and her store in a movie.
- How the son of Muscatine lawyer, Douglas Johnston, grows up to make movies.
- The fact that one of the film’s more amusing scenes was shot in a Muscatine home that is famous in a big part of the world for a big event in which I particpated as a reporter in 2012 — one of my last officials acts of newspaper journalism.
- The fact that one of the movie’s opening scenes was shot in the gym of my employer, Muscatine Center for Social Action.
- The hard work of Muscatine High School science teacher Cathy Kramer to even get this movie shown locally. As many local people as possible should reward her efforts by going to the second screening of the movie. It will take place at 6:30 p.m. today at the New Strand Theatre in West Liberty and will feature a question-and-answer session with cast members.
- The story of the New Strand, a restored theater in a small town. They are accepting a goodwill offering to see My Sister’s Quinceañera. But tickets to first-run features are normally only $5 and a large bag of popcorn costs $3.25. It is a cool place in West Liberty, which is a noteworthy town for many reasons not the least of which is it was the first town in Iowa where Hispanics comprise more than half of the population.
- The realization that — in a blatant attempt to gain readers — I have used the BuzzFeed-type headline and listicle format to write about this great movie. If you can’t beat them, join them …
It’s sort of amusing that here I am blogging again for the second time in a week about a movie. I’m no movie critic, but I liked My Sister’s Quinceañera a lot more than I did the other movie.
I hope they have a huge crowd tonight at the New Strand.