Oxford residents and Faulkner fans gathered in the ballroom of the Chancellor’s House on Sunday night to celebrate a cornerstone of local history.
At the near end of A Literary Bit of Faulkner, the Oxford Film Festival and the Chancellor’s House hosted a screening of “Intruder in the Dust” to celebrate the film’s 70th anniversary. The film was last publicly shown five years ago at The Lyric.
“Intruder in the Dust” depicts the investigation of a murder by a lawyer, his nephew, their worker’s son and an elder of the community. The film was shot in Oxford along with other Mississippi locations and included local residents.
Audience members were able to see landmarks and parts of the town that haven’t changed all that much over time.
The Chancellor’s House hosted the event after partnering with the Oxford Film Festival because of its involvement with the arts.
“I want (Chancellor’s House) to be an art mecca. I want us to be a place where artists can come. They can work, they can sell their work,” sales and marketing manager Clifton Odom said.
The hotel features art from Oxford Treehouse Gallery along with local memorabilia. In about a month, the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council will be donating Faulkner’s old writing desk to the hotel.
Within the Chancellor’s House, Faulkner’s personal photographer, J.R. Cofield, has a room dedicated to him. His grandson and pictorial historian John Cofield were in attendance to answer questions about Faulkner and the film.
He spoke about his grandfather and father’s connection with Faulkner, along with their work with him. His grandfather took the first picture in 1930, and his father took the last photo of him months before his death in 1962.
“Granddad and Faulkner became friends and were lifelong friends,” Cofield said.
The Cofield’s room will have more additions with historical artifacts along with more artist centered events like A Literary Bit of Faulkner.