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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ten Thousand Points of Light shows at Mary's on Wed., Dec. 8

On Wed., Dec. 8, Dust-to-Digital Records hosts a screening of director George King's 1991 documentary film Ten Thousand Points of Light at Mary's in East Atlanta.

Ten Thousand Points of Light takes you on a walk through the home of the Townsends, a Stone Mountain family that went a little haywire over the holidays for many years and literally decked their halls with an explosion of lights, Christmas ephemera and all things Elvis. And what good would their efforts be if they didn't open their home to the public to show it all off?

For years, touring the Townsend's home was a seasonal event for thousands of curiosity seekers, and King's 32-minute short gives you a peek into the lives of the characters behind the spectacle. There's anxiety, deceit and weird obsessions, and it's all underscored by a show of Christmas lights and magic.

The film was originally shot on VHS tape, so the whole thing swims in grainy nostalgia and there's an accidental folk art quality to King's approach. But like a true vestige of old Southern culture, the film never takes itself too seriously. It's a fun, kitsch-filled trek and it's worth your time just to hear grandma's sinister chuckle when she's asked why they call her Elvis-themed den "the fantasy room." Dust-to-Digital's newly transferred 20th anniversary edition DVD preserves all of the Townsend's memories while making the film look better than ever.

Mary's is located at 1287 Glenwood Ave. 404-624-4411.

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