Arts Council presents ‘Field of Dreams’ |

Arts Council presents ‘Field of Dreams’

Churchill Arts Council

“Field of Dreams,” which came out in 1989, depicts an Iowa farmer who hears a voice suggesting he build a baseball field. The voice doesn’t stop, sending several messages, including taking a renowned author to a game at Fenway Park to visiting a ghost whose dream was to have one Major League at-bat.

The movie, which is part of this year’s Fall Film Series, was nominated for three Academy Awards, including for Best Original Score, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.

The Oats Park Arts Center box office, Art Bar and galleries open at 6 p.m. with the movie beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7, members; $10 nonmembers. Tickets are available at the box office on the night of screening or call CAC at 775-423-1440.

“Field of Dreams” will be shown Friday and is a fantasy-drama sports film written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson, adapting W. P. Kinsella’s novel Shoeless Joe, it stars Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Burt Lancaster in his final film role.

Ray Kinsella, played by Costner, thinks these messages of building a field and easing someone’s pain is about Shoeless Joe Jackson, who appears in the ballfield shortly after completion. Jackson is infamous for the Black Sox scandal in the early 1900s and invites his team and others to play at the Iowa farm.

But the movie is more a quest to finding answers and reconciliation. It’s a story about a man and his father.

Ray’s father, John, played professionally and wanted his son to follow the same path. As Ray retells the story to Terrence Mann, the relationship with his father hit a wall when he didn’t want to pursue baseball and criticized his father for idolizing a criminal, Shoeless Joe.

The last 10 minutes of the movie are the best. During this span, Ray discovers his father as one of the ghost players in catcher’s gear as the rest leave the ballfield. John meets Ray’s wife and daughter for the first time and Ray asks to have a catch.

It’s a tear-jerking moment and one of the few exceptions where it’s OK for a man to cry while watching a movie. It’s moving and powerful. It mends a broken bond between father and son.

The young catcher who removed his mask and looked at his father in the movie is Dwier Brown, an accomplished actor and Midwest native who weaved a compelling story of the father and son relationship and their own Field of Dreams in his 2014 book, “If You Build It….”

Thus, Brown moved to the most famous line of the movie when Shoeless Joe said, “If you build it, He will come.” Afterward, John Kinsella removed his mask when positioned behind the plate and looked at his son who then recognized his father as a young man. Although Brown said the line is often misquoted, he said it points out, nevertheless, several meanings.

“A lot of people have dreams and they stay as dreams and hope,” Brown said.

Ray built a field but his neighbors ostracized him. Brown said only from Ray’s belief in a dream did his life change. Whether “he” or “they” is used, Brown considers the word irrelevant. The operative word for Brown, however, is build because the author said that word means taking the first step.

“You are telling the universe to make a place on this journey,” he emphasized.

For Ray, he sees his father, plays catch and has a meaningful conversation, a closure to an assumed strained relationship in their earlier years. For many of today’s fathers and sons, Brown said it’s easier to pick up a ball and glove and play a quick game of catch and talk

“Baseball is a different game, but changing the game is not the right thing to do. People will always love baseball,” he said.

Reno Aces coach Greg Gross is a Baby Boomer born in the early 1950s who remembers the fading eras of hitters and pitchers and superstars who competed in America’s pastime. The movie has become one of Gross’ favorites.

“It’s just a real relaxing, nice, nothing hidden-in-it type of movie,” Gross said, reflecting on his own rise in baseball. “When I was young, I always played with the older guys … I played on city leagues against adults … I followed my dad who played in the city league. The movie brought back all these memories.”

A part of this week’s review is written by sports columnist Thomas Ranson, and the background on Brown came from a 2016 LVN article on his time spent in Reno at Greater Nevada Field, home of the Aces.