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Defender Picks


Jodorowsky's Dune: Science Fiction's Edwin Drood

When Charles Dickens died at 58, he had only written half of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Mourning for Dickens quickly changed into mania over speculation about his unfinished book. Edwin Drood remains the great "What if?" of literature. Jodorowsky's Dune presents a similar paradigm, except that its Dickens, artist/filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky, is alive, hilarious, magnetic, youthful and vibrant at 84 years old.  

Film Review: The Mouse That Roared

Note with disdain and disappointment that no watchable new movie was released over Fourth of July weekend. Transformers: Age of Extinction serves as much as an industry title as the herald of yet another excuse for Michael Bay to inflict jejune dialogue and juvenile characters and plots on anyone either misguided, misinformed, or who misunderstands what's truly good for their children. The diminution from John Wayne to Mark Wahlberg pertains to more than physical stature.

Digging In

For Cast & Crew of Locally-Filmed 'Bury Me,' Storms, Searches and a Creeper

At a recent Prytania Theater screening, NoDef's Jason Raymond spent some time with the cast, crew and finished product of Bury Me, a new, locally-filmed drama.

Ragin' Cajun Redneck Gators Coming to SyFy (Trailer)

SyFy's latest foray into Louisiana combines the oil state's presumably radioactive waters with our favorite predator, gators. Locals have embraced Swamp People and Duck Dynasty, and our upcoming tv screen debut promises all the same southern stereotypes. Ragin' Cajun Redneck Gators premieres September 5, at 8p.m. central time.    

NOLA Movie Review: This is the End

Reviewer Hopes 'This is the End' is a Promise

Not just because of its apocalyptic subject matter, NOLA-shot This Is The End' certainly feels like the culmination of something. 

'Beasts of the Southern Wild' Opens Wednesday in New Orleans

Things take a little longer to catch on here in Louisiana. As film director Benh Zeitlin put it to NoDef when we caught up with him last week, "Eventually, someone comes by and says, ‘Put down your laptop, get in this boat, we’re going to show you how to hunt alligator.’" After taking Sundance, Cannes and a lot of the rest of the country, Zeitlin's film Beasts of the Southern Wild will finally play on a Big Easy big screen. After months of anticipation and teasers, the same people that welcomed film crews with open boats can finally see the feature that’s making them famous all over the world. Click through for showtimes:

Will NOLA Be Seen in an Oscar Film?

From Bacchus to Bam Margera to Brad Pitt's bash, the stars of screen haven't shied away from New Orleans. But with the Oscars looming, we're reminded that our local film culture still has a few mountains to climb. The closest we get to a nomination is NOLA native Michael Lewis, who wrote Moneyball, but had nothing to do with the move.  This week, the mayor's office announced the projects that are filming here here now or in the future. Let's see if there's a potential winner among them:

Bayou-Filmed 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' Bedazzles Sundance

It's not often that New Orleans is the talk of Utah, or even mentioned in the state that Mormons built. But such is the rarified air way up above the Earth in Park City, home to this week's Sundance Film Festival. Beasts of the Southern Wild, which was shot down da bayou, made by a NOLA-based filmmaker and stars the man responsible for those soul-cleansing Buttermilk Drops in the 7th Ward, is the talk of the ski town-turned-indie film polestar. The New York Times even called the movie "the standout of this year’s Sundance and among the best films to play at the festival in two decades." When do we get to see it, guys? (UPDATE: The film took home the fest's top prize) Coverage from Utah: NYT LAT The Atlantic

N.O. Film Fest First Look: The Mortician, starring Method Man

by Shay Sokol

The Mortician, written and directed by Gareth Maxwell Roberts, will depend on two factors to make a profit after its indie $6 million budget: Method Man and 3D. With overt metaphors, a simple plot, and a lead role played by a Wu-Tang Clan member that cannot act, this film will be tossed in the dustbins quickly. In a desolate city in Tennessee, a boy named Kane (Cruz Santiago) witnesses the murder of his prostitute mother (Judy Marte).

N.O. Film Fest First Look: Brawler

The locally-shot feature-length drama, Brawler, is all decay and redemption, but there isn't any reference to flood or FEMA. Instead, director Chris Siverston trains his lens  on the New Orleans underbelly that might have been identified with New Orleans' past. The world of the film's backroom fighting club (Don't worry, there is no Jack) takes place in backrooms, on Mississippi River boats and in buildings with unglamorous facades.

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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.


Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt

B. E. Mintz

Stephen Babcock

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