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Grand Marais Public Library to Host Friday Night Reels Starting January 5

Jan 05, 2024 07:16AM ● By Content Editor
Photo: Alex Litvin 

By Nancy Giguere for Boreal Community Media - December 31, 2023

Grand Marais may not have a dedicated movie theater, but that doesn’t mean there’s no opportunity to enjoy a good movie. Beginning on January 5, the Grand Marais Public Library will host Friday Night Reels, a series of 10 independent and foreign films. The last screening will take place on March 8.

“These are movies you can’t easily find on streaming services like Netflix or Prime,” said librarian Ryan Leng. “Many are award winners and have appeared at film festivals, like Sundance and Cannes. One movie received an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, while another is a recent nominee.”

This year’s first section is The Fall (rated R) from 2006, which was filmed in 28 countries over the course of four years. It features a stuntman and a little girl who meet in a hospital. The stuntman captivates her with stories of heroes, myths, and villains on a desert island. The stories, however, are actually a trick to manipulate the girl into helping him do something terrible. 

According to the late movie critic Roger Ebert, “The Fall is a movie that you might want to see for no other reason than because it exists. There will never be another like it.”

Friday Night Reels was started by library volunteers Carl Solander and Mary Beams in 2015. The series went dark in 2021 and 2022 due to the pandemic and was revived last year. “It’s a chance to reconnect with the joy of watching movies in the community, instead of by ourselves on a laptop,” said Carol Bennett, a member of the film committee. “We have the opportunity to gasp, to laugh or perhaps even cry together.”

And because many of the movies in the series are foreign films, “viewers will also have an opportunity to look at the world in a way that’s different from the Hollywood perspective,” Bennett said.

The Friday Night Reels are for adult audiences and may not be suitable for young viewers. Foreign films will be shown in the original language with subtitles. 

The doors open at 5:30 pm. No sign-up is required but seating is limited. The library’s sponsor and community partner, the Library Friends of Cook County, will provide light snacks and beverages. Non-alcoholic beverages with lids are welcome.

Participants are encouraged to stick around afterward to discuss the movie with fellow viewers.

To see the complete list of films, visit The library website will also announce any cancellations due to weather.

About Nancy Giguere

Nancy is a retired freelance writer who moved to Grand Marais in 2021.  Before "officially retiring" in 2012, she had 20 years of experience writing for various units of the University of Minnesota, the marketing publications of the Star Tribune, the Minnesota Department of Education, and other organizations. 

Since retiring, she has volunteered as a writer/editor for WaterLegacy, a nonprofit working to counter the threat of sulfide mining proposed for Northern Minnesota. She helps draft and edit grant applications, email blasts, website content, and other materials

Related: Meet your Cook County Neighbor: Nancy Giguere

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