To honor Women’s History Month this March, Oxford celebrates a film, Come Early Morning with a screening and reception at the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, Friday March 6 from 6:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Ole Miss students, faculty and staff as well as Oxford community members are invited to attend this event, which, according to assistant director for the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies and event director, Theresa Starkey, will lead a conversation in the community about women’s roles in film making and storytelling in a unique way.
Starkey said March is also the month in which the Annual Isom Student Gender Conference is held, and this years theme is “Space & Place,” Starkey believes that director Joey Lauren Adams is an excellent role model and conversation starter for the Oxford community.
“Adams’s role both in front of and behind the camera taps into this motif in such an amazing way, as does her film, which I hope people will come to see,” Starkey said. “We want it to inspire women who want to make films and have a story to tell. We want this event to bring people together.”
Starkey organized the event with support from interim director Jaime Harker and assistance from the Coordinator of Operations, Kevin Cozart, along with community support from the Powerhouse Community Arts Center and University of Mississippi’s Department of Theater Arts, Cinema.
Adams’s film Come Early Morning, deals with the struggles of a young woman who must come to grips with her own lifestyles, and choose to love herself. Adams, an actor, writer director and former resident of Oxford, debuted the film for the first time in 2006, and received a great share of positive reviews.
Starring Ashley Judd as the hardworking, small town Lucy, whose nightly routine involves heavy drinking, one night stands, and quietly slipping away as morning comes. As she comes to face the reality of her somewhat lonely lifestyle, she also reconnects with her shy father, as well as the town newcomer, whom she develops a crush on. The story itself explores themes many college-age women can identify with, including a need for companionship, but a fear of commitment based on past heartbreak. Interestingly, the protagonist’s behavior, while it may seem shocking, is an interesting double-standard seen notoriously across campuses, where men are expect, and in some cases, arguably encouraged and celebrated to engage in one-night stands on a regular basis.
Come Early Morning was also selected to play at the Sundance Film Festival, and was awarded the festival’s prestigious Dorothy Arzner Women in Film Directors Award for Adams’ work.
A reception after the screening will be held in the hopes that attendees will be inspired to talk about the film as a community, and truly delve deeper into issues and topics not always discussed relating to woman’s issues in a friendly, open environment.
“John Currence’s Main Event is doing the food, a gourmet hotdog bar with all the fixin’s. Food Joey Lauren Adams likes,” Starkey said. “The reception will be a great place for people to talk about the film, to mingle and make new friends and to talk with the artist about her craft, which is such a wonderful opportunity.”
The screening is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for the post-show reception. These tickets cost $10, include food provided by the Main Event and cocktails, and can be purchased online or at the door.