The seeds for Neosoulville’s Soul Cinema series were planted during a conversation that included the lament, “These kids today.” Tonya Dyson, a member of Neosoulville (and who works as a sales rep for the Flyer), says that she and her friends were talking about the movies they grew up on and how they don’t make ’em like they used to — specifically, films with a one-artist soundtrack.
“We thought how cool it would be to show those films and incorporate the soundtrack,” Dyson says.
The series was launched in October with a screening of The Wiz, followed by Lady Sings the Blues, Truck Turner, and Sparkle. It concludes this Thursday with Trouble Man, the 1972 film starring Robert Hooks with a soundtrack by Marvin Gaye.
Each film is introduced with a bit of history and a live performance of two or three songs from the movie. After the screening, a DJ spins songs from the soundtrack as well as contemporary songs that fit into the context of the film.
Ambience is another important part of Soul Cinema. The venue, Marshall Arts, is outfitted with chairs and sofas to create an at-home feel, and there’s a concession stand with popcorn, hot dogs, and throwback candy (think Nerds).
Dyson says Neosoulville has two goals for the series: “First, entertain; second, provide a positive highlight of black culture." — Susan Ellis