McCarthy, Thacker Mountain help kick off film fest

Published 7:34 am Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Thacker Mountain Radio Show and the Oxford Film Festival came together Thursday to kick off the annual film festival at the Gertrude Ford Center of Arts.

The evening started with the Thacker Mountain Radio Show.

After musical performances by the Yalobushwhacker Big Band, featuring the Thacker Horns and vocalist Mary Frances Massey, and Memphis singer-songwriter Cyrena Wages, author Andrew McCarthy took the stage, where he and host Jim Dees spoke about his newest book, “Walking with Sam.”

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The book is about McCarthy and his 19-year-old son trekking 500 miles across Spain’s Camino de Santiago.

Over the course of the journey, the pair traversed an unforgiving landscape, having more honest conversations in five weeks than they’d had in the preceding two decades.  Discussions of divorce, the trauma of school, McCarthy’s difficult relationship with his own father, fame, and Flaming Hot Cheetos threatened to either derail their relationship or cement it.

McCarthy was part of the 1980s “Brat Pack,” and starred in several popular films, including, “St. Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink, Weekend at Bernie’s and Less than Zero.

Alabama band Reed Brake followed McCarthy and the Yalobushwhackers band returned to the stage to finish out the show. 

It’s McCarthy’s second trip to Oxford. He came in December, when he toured Rowan Oak.

“I think Oxford is an amazing spot,” he said. “I was very happy to come back. I was looking for an excuse to come back, so this worked out great.”

The Film Festival ran throughout the weekend with hundreds of films being shown at Malco Theater.