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Ten Thousand Points Of Light: The 20th Anniversary Edition


Kitsch alert! Worshipper at the shrine of Elvis, fans of unabashed bad taste, followers of pop culture, take note. Ten Thousand Points Of Light, originally released in 1991 and now available on DVD for the very first time, is a wry, understated and terrifically funny look at The Townsends, a suburban Atlanta family who, every holiday season for eight years, transformed their Stone Mountain area brick ranch house into a meteoric blaze of Christmas lights. Known as both "the Christmas House" and the "the Elvis House," the Townsend's home was visited yearly by vast numbers of people, many of whom viewed a trip to the land of a thousand tchotchkes as an annual pilgrimage. George King, who sees the Townsends as TV-addled, mainstream eccentrics who are possessed of extraordinary community spirit, captures some priceless moments, beginning with an early interview in which Margaret Townsend opines: "Christmas and Elvis go together. Nothing will take the place of Christ. But Elvis was a good man; he was good to everybody." Graceland has clearly had an impact on the Townsend's aesthetic, as has the Cable Shopping Network and Family Circle-style craft projects. What did the Christmas/Elvis House mean to visitors, and why did they mourn its final season? King elicits some revealing comments from the patient folks who lined up until 10 p.m. on weeknights, weekends till midnight. Ten Thousand Points Of Light could have come across as a bad-tempered, Letterman-style trashing of working-class values and rituals. Instead, it's a sly portrait, shadowed with hints of the surreal, that strikes a perfect balance between affection and awe-struck disbelief. Housed in a digipak with gold foil stamping on the cover including a booklet containing an interview with the filmmaker from 2010. Length: Program Run Time - 31 min/Total Run Time - 1hour 45min; Stereo Audio; Color; Aspect ratio: 16:9. The DVD is NTSC format, region free.