The working title was “Dark House,” but as he was finishing the novel one afternoon his wife Estelle made an off-hand comment “there is something about the light in August.”
And so William Faulkner changed the novel’s title to “Light in August” and explained it later saying that for a few days in August, “there’s a foretaste of fall, it’s cool, there’s a lambence, a soft, a luminous quality to the light, as though it came not from just today but from back in the old classic times….the title reminded me of that time.”
Half a year later there is, for a few days, a light in February that is bright, crisp, and clear. It does not suggest classic times but shines a forecasting promise of a warm and green future all the while having a clear look at what is plainly the exposed bare present. It is the time when Mississippi looks its drab worst and yet there in the strengthening sunlight glimmer rays of hope.
It is that February quality of light that filmmakers Alison Fast and Chandler Griffin captured in their short film “Yalo”. Premiering last week at the Oxford Film Festival, “Yalo” won the audience choice award over 144 other films. Festival director Melanie Addington said they’ve never had a film score so high.
That realistic but hopeful quality of light underscores the film’s story of the persistent rise of Valley based creative entrepreneurs. And how these new businesses fit into the economic mix in bringing a small town Main Street back. How the past built environment of the historic commercial district is the new place to be creative. It’s a good story and one we know. The film not only gets the story out there about Water Valley, but puts us in that role model position as to what is possible, changing the future in what many people assume are small and easy to forget places. And shows us to be our own agents of that change.
The film is now posted online; so you can view the film at home, just search for “Vimeo Blue Magnolia.”
Music downtown three nights this week. This Thursday evening Jared Spears plays at the Crawdad Hole. Friday night Sean Kilpatrick is at Yalobusha Brewery and Saturday night Caitlin Kendrick and Hunter Covington play at Hometown Pizza. Hear one or hear them all. Get on out and go downtown.
Saturday, March 5, is the “Come As You Aren’t” costume and dance party thrown by the Water Valley Arts Council. It is at the Melonvine Market Place 817 South Main Street. Bring your not as you ever were self along. Party starts at 7. It is an art council event, so you know it is gonna be fun.