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Street Talk

‘85% Broken’ Part Of Oxford Film Festival 

By Mickey Howley

I usually don’t write or suggest to folks in this column information about attending Oxford events. Water Valley bleeds enough of our hard earned money to Oxford businesses. And if you go there for an event, chances are you’ll more than likely spend money there as well on other stuff. Now there has been less bleeding over the most recent years, we’re starting to get that back in balance, and many Oxionians now come here to eat and shop and even hang out and have a good time. That’s a good thing, as you want a fair exchange not only for the money, but also for the fun. 

So in that last year I’ve mentioned two Oxford events to attend. At Off Square Books, the debut of the BTC Cookbook and, just recently, Andrew Bryant’s new album debut at Proud Larry’s. Both times Valley people making a big opening splash in Oxford. And why there? Well, there was a bigger audience and bigger venue and that is good because both were getting the message out the Valley is a creative place to live and work. 

Here’s the next one where you should show up in Oxford. Saturday, February 28, for the Oxford Film Festival at 2 p.m. in the Malco Theater on West Jackson Ave.  There showing will be a film titled “85% Broken.”  The film was shot in Water Valley and stars Reiko Yamada, Snooky Williams, and Jack Gurner Sr. I’m particularly thrilled to see Jack Sr. and Snooky in this film, it gives me hope that there is still a slim chance for old, bald, white guys to be hip. And without giving too much of the plot away, it is also a chance to see Water Valley through a newcomer’s eyes. This film has had one previous public showing and that was in New York City. New Yorkers, after leaving the screening were a bit amazed; the film totally breaks their imagined stereotype of a Mississippi small town. 

Alison Fast and Chandler Griffin of Blue Magnolia Films directed, shot, and edited the movie. Alison and Chandler film literally all over the world, in the last month alone they’ve been from Los Angles, to New York, to Sudan, and to Clarksdale. When the chance to do a film series about Mississippi’s Creative Economy came up, working in partners with Mississippi Tourism, they jumped at the opportunity. And Alison and Chandler chose Water Valley to be the first of seven films. One of the other seven was also filmed here, but more on that later. This showing at the Oxford Film Festival is a big plug for Water Valley and I don’t say this often, but see you in Oxford. 

Okay it’s your last warning; Valentine’s Day is this Saturday February 14. Yep, same date as every year. Your Valley Main Street merchants …all those gifts and flower shops… are ready to help.



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