When: Sat., May 30, 12 p.m. 2009
A Piccolo Spoleto event. Based on Dickey’s 1970 novel, the now-classic 1972 film made a whole generation of men afraid of weekend camping in hillbilly territory. Spectacular wilderness scenery (from SC and GA); Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight and Ned Beatty in their earliest roles; and hit-single “Dueling Banjos” in its natural habitat. Panelists: Independent film maker, Peter Wentworth (moderator); Franklin Ashley, professor of playwriting, College of Charleston, and student of James Dickey at USC; Tara Powell, poet and assistant professor of English and Southern Studies at USC; John Lane, associate professor of English and Environmental Studies at Wofford College, author of Chattooga: Descending Into the Myth of Deliverance River. (Ticket includes upscale trail lunch.)
WHAT IS IT? The Southern Artists Celebratory Series selects one Southern artist each year to highlight his or her work and achievements. This year’s selection is Buckhead, Ga., native James Dickey (1923-1997), the 18th poet laureate of the U.S. The weekend consists of three events. Deliverance at High Noon, a showing/panel discussion of the 1972 cult-classic film Deliverance (based on Dickey’s novel); Camera Obscura, a showing of two documentary-style film shorts; and finally, James Dickey: An American Poet Remembered, a reading and remembrance.
WHY SEE IT? See it because James Dickey was a prolific and gifted writer, one of the brightest poetic minds of the 20th century.
WHO SHOULD GO? Lovers and would-be lovers of James Dickey, as well as anyone who appreciates poetry, literature, and the arts. And also anyone who’s expecting us to use some kind of dueling banjo or squeal-like-a-pig reference right about now. Sorry, we’ve had enough. Besides, can you top Ned Beatty’s buck-naked scramble up the hillside? Thought so. (Signe Pike)