Monday, April 27, 2015

Michael Graziano of Resistance visits Madison, GA

From Filmmaker Michael Graziano of Resistance:

 My tour started last night in the picturesque town of Madison, GA.  There was a great turnout and lively discussion that continued for some time in the reception room after the screening.

The highlight of the stop, apart from the kind and hospitable people, was the building where the screening was held. The structure is a striking 19th century red brick affair that used to be a school house - side note and interesting connection to film history: Oliver Hardy began school there in first grade, and continued for some time before Stan Laurel's became the lanky, hapless counterpoint to Hardy's rotund malcontentment. The dark-polished wood paneling and chandelier (all 19th C. originals) of the auditorium were equal to the building's exterior. The camera on my phone doesn't do the space justice.

I got to Madison early and spent a couple hours killing time. Nearly everything in the sleepy town center closed by 5pm, so instead of working at a cafe or lunch counter like I'd planned, I had the good fortune of wandering onto the town's "Wellness Trail". A lovely path lined by a creek on one side, and carefully labeled trees and other plants throughout. I made it about halfway around the trail when I arrived at the "Old Cemetery". The cemetery was full of former Confederate soldiers, including a not insignificant plot of "Unknowns". The day was warm and breezy and the small rebel flags that someone or a group had placed to mark each confederate grave, never billowed but shrugged and drooped beside the weathered headstones. I couldn't help but think of Faulkner's admonition that, "The past is never dead. It's not even past". The scene offered a poignant frame for thinking about lots of things, not least of which is the Southern Circuit tour of Independent Films, and my good fortune for being invited to join it.