Paying tribute to our homegrown cinematic royalty, the Heights Theater is hosting Hollywood’s North Star: Minnesotans in the Movies. The five-film series begins with one of the grittiest noirs in screen history, as the Minneapolis-born Ralph Meeker defines hardboiled detective Mike Hammer as he doggedly uncovers a sinister conspiracy in Kiss Me Deadly (1955). Subverting noir expectations with homespun humanity, St. Louis Park native siblings Joel and Ethan Coen rose to the top echelon of Hollywood directors with their tawdry tale of a kidnapping gone horribly wrong, Fargo (1996). Our state can also boast of being the birthplace of Judy Garland, one of the 20th century’s greatest singers, who scored one of her greatest performances as an aspiring artist in A Star Is Born (1954). Further gravitas radiates from the aching performance of Twin Cities-raised actor Lew Ayres in his moving portrayal of a German soldier in the trenches of WWI in All Quiet on the Western Front (1930). The series’ closing film signaled the transformation of a local wunderkind into a global sensation: Prince cultivated his own legend (while mythologizing the Twin Cities music scene) with Purple Rain (1984).