This weekend marks the 3rd Annual Dixie Film Festival, an event founded by Randy McDowell, an energetic young filmmaker who splits his time between Georgia and California. In its 2nd year at Georgia State University’s Cinefest Theatre, the Dixie Film Festival has plenty of room to grow but I have to say that I’m impressed by Randy’s chutzpah and the intensity that he and his staff have put into the festival this year. Last night I attended a screening of the film Hot Tamale, directed by Michael Damian of ‘The Young & The Restless’ fame, and was delighted to observe the very first presentation of The Magnolia Award to actor James Best, for 50 years in the film business (you can view the video I shot over on YouTube). Mr. Best also screened a short period piece entitled ‘Hell Bent for Good Times’ (I only spotted one anachronism).
This is probably a boring post but I’ve been meaning to do it, so there. I grew up ‘neath the shade of a fine example of the ancient plant genus known as Magnolia, part of a family of plants believed to be over 95 million years old. Our magnolia belonged to the subgenus Magnolia grandiflora, better known as the “Southern magnolia”, star of stage, screen and stereotype of the Mint-Julep-sipping American South. Paleobotanists say that the magnolia family has outlasted mountain ranges, ice ages and continental drift, finding itself spread around the world in the process, from Asia to the Americas. Back in its prime this tree was undoubtedly the favorite food of more than a few kinds of dinosaur, an electrifying concept. Its limbs, its leaves, its fruit, its very essence is imbued with a peculiar, tart odor. I imagine it to be the primal scent of Dinosaurtown.
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