Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
The seductive Tchoupitoulas, Bill and Turner Ross’ predecessor to Western, immerses us in the nightlife of New Orleans. A wealth of observation, filmed over nine months in and around the French Quarter, is presented as occurring over a single night and witnessed by three young African American brothers. They’ve missed the ferry home and wander the streets, agog at the crazy, glittering adult world they behold. The tough-naïve narration may remind you of Beasts of the Southern Wild, which hailed from the same Louisiana creative enclave.
“The Rosses have captured on film something rare: what a night spent stumbling about New Orleans actually feels like. Here are the street characters; the make-joy-from-thin-air musicians; the spooky, shadowed parks; the tour guide in Jackson Square who insists ‘Andrew Jackson, the hero of the Battle of New Orleans, was the great-, great-, great-, great- grandfather of Michael Jackson.’ Here’s the way, as you pass tin-ceilinged bars and the stalls of tchotchke-sellers, competing musics muscle in, get pushed out, and sometimes tangle up into something new.” — Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice