School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Documentary about Faulkner household set for Thursday, Oct. 24 in Overby Center

Posted on: October 21st, 2019 by ldrucker

Much has been written and broadcast about William Faulkner. But there has been nothing produced that talks about life in the Faulkner household from an insider’s point of view.

Thinking of Home: Falkner House and Rowan Oak is a 30-minute documentary featuring Oxford writer Larry Wells, who with his late wife Dean Faulkner Wells, lived at Falkner House, the home of Faulkner’s mother.

Wells and Bill Griffith, curator of Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak, narrate a video tour of both historic houses that includes historical photos, drone footage and Larry’s personal stories about the Faulkner family.

A black and white illustration featuring Faulkner's face with historic buildings in the background.

A black and white illustration featuring Faulkner’s face with historic buildings in the background.

The public is invited to the first open showing at 4 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 24, at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics. The documentary was previously shown at the Faulkner Conference on campus last summer and in New Orleans at the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society Birthday Bash in September.

Unlike Rowan Oak, Falkner House on South Lamar is not open to the public, thus the documentary provides a rare glimpse into the residence. (William’s parents spelled the name without the ‘u’). Virtually every day, Faulkner walked the half-mile from Rowan Oak to Falkner House to visit his mother, Maud Falkner. Her husband, Murry, died shortly after the house was built. In the 1920s Murry served as business manager at the University of Mississippi.

The Rowan Oak segment includes tales of family members staying at the home and incidents, such as when famed CBS broadcaster Edward R. Murrow phoned Faulkner. The fable about Judith, the family ghost, and her untimely death at the home is dramatized.

The documentary was produced by Dr. Kathleen Wickham, professor of journalism in the School of Journalism and New Media, with videography by Mary Stanton Knight and Deborah Freeland, who also served as editor/director.

Drone footage was provided by Ji Hoon Heo, an instructional assistant professor at the School of Journalism and New Media. Music was recorded and performed by Diane Wang and Stacy Rodgers of the Ole Miss Department of Music. Archives and Special Collections, J.D. Williams Library, provided photographs.

Funding was provided by the School of Journalism and New Media and the Mississippi Film Alliance. The documentary will be donated to Rowan Oak. Plans call for it to be permanently available for viewing.

If you require special assistance relating to a disability, please contact Sarah Griffith at 662-915-7146 or via email at slgriff@olemiss.edu. Please request accommodations as soon as possible to allow time for arrangements to be made.

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