Classic films coming to Spirit River Community

The public is invited to a four-week classic film series beginning April 24 at Spirit River Community Church in Isanti.

The films in the series are “Casablanca,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “The Mission” and “Saving Private Ryan.”

Film producer Colton Mehrhof will be part of a four-week film series beginning April 24 at Spirit River Community in Isanti. Photo by Noelle Olson
Film producer Colton Mehrhof will be part of a four-week film series beginning April 24 at Spirit River Community in Isanti. Photo by Noelle Olson

“We want to look at film in two directions: cinematology and theologically,” the Rev. Jim Crecelius said.

Attending the series will be film producer Colton Mehrhof, and each film viewing will include a question-and-answer session with Mehrhof and a theological discussion with Crecelius. All showings will be on consecutive Mondays beginning at 6 p.m. April 24 at Spirit River Community Church. Snacks will be provided.

Mehrhof is from Coon Rapids and graduated from the University of Minnesota before attending Minneapolis Community and Technical College, studying film production. He moved to Los Angeles to work in the film industry and was part of the film crew for the TV show “Training Day.” Mehrhof was craving the small-town feeling and decided to move back to Minnesota.

The movies in the series are from different time periods of film making. The main theme is the effect of war and conflict.

“‘Casablanca’ is a timeless film that represents the golden age of film making and the feelings about the war during the 1930s,” Mehrhof said.

The second film in the series, “Dr. Strangelove,” is set in the 1960s, during the post-war era involving the growing threat of nuclear war. The movie is directed by the late Stanley Kubrick.

“Kubrick was known for doing big wide shots and was excellent at telling the story from his background shots. He sets the mood and tone about the tension regarding nuclear war,” Mehrhof said.

“The Mission” is the third film in the series and was chosen by Crecelius. The film is from the 1980s about the experiences of a Jesuit missionary in 18th century South America and stars Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons.

The final film is “Saving Private Ryan,” starring Tom Hanks.

“The film carries on the war theme and shows the effects of war throughout the years,” Mehrhof said.

The public is invited to attend the film series.

“Making movies is a form of language similar to how you would write a book,” Mehrhof said. “When you go to a movie, you want to be able to understand and describe what you are feeling.”