A film series, Moving Images in Mississippi, will be shown through July during the Mississippi Museum of Art’s bicentennial exhibition, Picturing Mississippi: 1817-2017. On the fourth Thur. and Fri. of each month, the public is invited to attend the new film series to celebrate cinema and Mississippi. Curated and introduced by Mississippi film commissioner Ward Emling, the series will include panels and one-on-one filmmaker interviews to discuss the films in cinematic, cultural and historical context.
“We hope to do more than showcase films produced in Mississippi,” said former Mississippi film commissioner Ward Emling. “We will highlight the opportunity of film in Mississippi today through the work of the Mississippi Film Office; the contributions of the film organizations and festivals; and the curriculum in programs at our high schools, colleges and universities.”
So far four films have been shown. Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, Thieves Like Us, The Help, and LaLee’s Kin.
“We build these discussions based on the film and then try to give the audience some information that they might not have thought of or something that they had no way of knowing,” Emling said.
Beginning in Natchez in 1914, storytellers have used the Mississippi backdrop to enhance and authenticate their vision. The imagination of writers and the drama of the state’s history have been brought to life by directors of influence, insight and power.
“Cinema has explored, enhanced and explained Mississippi and continues to do so today,” said Emling. “From works like This Property is Condemned on the Gulf Coast to LaLee’s Kin in the Delta, from a rascal named Huck to a dog named Skip, from the light touch of The Reivers to the heavy grasp of Mississippi Burning, the cinematic life of Mississippi plays an influential role in the growth of America’s culture.”
Emling encouraged attendees to look at the films as an expression of art.
“Whether they are successfully telling a story about Mississippi, a story that we already know… or their own story, just in our familiar landscapes, it is always interesting to watch it with an audience who you are going to have a discussion about it,” Emling said. “A lot of times you go to the movies and then you go home. This is an opportunity to discuss with people who are seeing it for the first time and with people who have an intimate knowledge of the film because they were there every day and can tell you all kinds of stories about it.”
The bicentennial film series is free and open to the public. Each film will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Trustmark Grand Hall.
Mar. 22-23: Rise and Response
Apr. 26-27: Home and Everywhere Else
May 24-25: Star-Crossed and Found
This Property is Condemned
June 28-29: Neighbors and Strangers
July 26-27: Life, as We Know it
My Dog Skip
Great Drives: Highway 61
*Films shown are subject to change due to panelist availability.