Carson McCullers film festival planned for next week

Columbus State University’s Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians hosts one of its biggest events of the year with a film festival March 27-29 in the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road.

“The festival is a rare opportunity to take in such a comprehensive exposition of McCullers’ work,” said Cathy Fussell, director of the McCullers center.

The event, a CSU collaboration with the library and Muscogee County Friends of Libraries, also is part of the opening celebration of the Southern Literary Trail.

The SLT goes to 18 towns from Natchez, Miss., to Savannah, commemorating internationally-known writers and playwrights of the 20th century. These writers were inspired by their communities.

Plans for the film festival and SLT began in 2005, Fussell said.

“It is very rewarding, and exciting, to see the trail project finally come to fruition,” she said. “I hope that folks in Columbus and Phenix City will have the chance to visit some of the other sites in Georgia, in Alabama and in Mississippi.”

Columbus’ McCullers is a focal point on the trail, and four major film adaptations of her works, plus a new film — "Wunderkind" by New York City filmmaker Lauren Rosen — are featured in the upcoming festival.

“I'm especially excited to be showcasing a brand new film derived from McCullers’ work,” Fussell said. “It’s very encouraging to see contemporary artists working with McCullers’ texts.”

The schedule for the film festival is:

"Reflections in a Golden Eye," starring Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando and Julie Harris, introduced by retired CSU English professor Thornton Jordon, 7 p.m. March 27.

"The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter," starring Alan Arkin, Cicely Tyson, Stacy Keach and Sondra Locke, introduced by CSU English professor Aaron Sanders, 2 p.m. March 28.

"Wunderkind," a short film by New York director Lauren Rosen (introduced by CSU English professor Nick Norwood) and "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe," starring Vanessa Redgrave and Keith Carradine (introduced by CSU English professor Beth Spencer), 7 p.m. March 28.

"The Member of the Wedding," starring Ethel Waters, Julie Harris and Brandon de Wilde, introduced by Fussell, 2 p.m. March 29.

In addition to the film screenings, visitors can tour McCullers’ childhood home at 1519 Stark Ave. from 4-6 p.m. March 27-29.

Call 706-565-4021 or go to http://www.mccullerscenter.org

For information on the Southern Literary Trail, go to http://www.southernliterarytrail.org