Filmed over nine months of night shoots, the hypnotically immersive Tchoupitoulas shows us nightlife in and around New Orleans’ French Quarter through the eyes of astounded children.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
Q+A with Turner Ross at both screenings.
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