Archive for the ‘Southern Circuit 2011’ Category
We stopped in the Karpeles Manuscript Museum while in Charleston, SC for our screening at the Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art. Ashley’s interest in archives, which was cultivated during the production of For Memories’ Sake, made the museum a logical stop for us.
The Karpeles Manuscript Library, which has seven museum sites across the country, including the one we visited, is the world’s largest private holding of important original documents and manuscripts.
In the museum we explored a temporary exhibition of Civil War manuscripts, as well as a some Egyptian ruins from David Karpeles’ personal collection.
As we were about to leave, we asked the gentleman tending the museum to tell us a little bit about the collection. He was kind enough to share some background, as well as an amusing anecdote that highlights the assumptions people sometimes have about the South.
Ashley and I have been on the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers for a week now. As I type these notes, we are driving on I-55, heading from Memphis to a screening tonight in Jackson, Mississippi.
The program we are screening on this tour have been appropriately packaged together under the title “Southern Stories.” The two fictional films (Gina, An Actress, Age 29 and Quick Feet, Soft Hands) were shot in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the documentary (For Memories’ Sake) is a portrait of a woman who’s lived in a rural area outside Nashville all of her life. The cast and crew for these films is largely drawn from the areas in which they were shot.
So, while there is a truth, and a convenience, in advertising the films as “Southern Stories”, I’m also ambivalent about labeling them this way. I have long believed that the South is not a monolithic place, except in American mythology, but that there are, instead, many Souths.
Visiting the three places we’ve screened so far — Johnson City, TN, Charleston, SC, and Memphis — has driven that home in dramatic fashion. I can’t remember touring three cities in such short succession that are more different in their cultural, racial, economic, and geographic diversity.