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THE

Defender Picks

 

SAMEDI

August 23rd

Big Easy Rollergirls Double Header
UNO Human Performance Center, 5 p.m.

vs. TBA

 

Nymphomaniac Volume 1
Indywood, 6:30p.m.
Indywood screens Lars von Triers’ sex drama

 

Brewsiana

House of Blues, 7p.m.

Craft brew & music fest ft. Colin Lake, Brass Bed, The Wooden Wings & more ($15)

 

Jake Owen
Champions Square, 7p.m.
Pop-country personified ($42+)

 

Crosby, Stills & Nash
Saenger Theatre, 8p.m.
Fathers of popular folk music ($80+)

 

Bug
Allways Lounge, 8p.m.
Darkly comedic play written by Tracy Letts

 

HipHoptions Launch Party
Gasa Gasa, 9p.m.
Ft. Bujie and The HighRise, Rei The Imperial, DIVVVY UP, Meta//Quirk

 

Lillian Axe
Tipitina’s, 9p.m.
Hard rock from NOLA ($15)

 

Papa Mali
Freret Street Publiq House, 10p.m.
With Lightnin Malcolm

 

The Kodiaks
the BEATnik, 10p.m.
Louisville, KY punks

 

TNM Presents: The Megaphone Show
Shadowbox Theatre, 10:30p.m.

The New Movement’s flagship storytelling improv show ($8)

DIMANCHE

August 24th

Micah McKee & Little Maker
Circle Bar, 5-9p.m.

Free music for happy hour

 

Nymphomaniac Volume 1
Indywood, 6:30p.m.
Indywood screens Lars von Triers’ sex drama

 

24 Hour Play Festival
Shadowbox Theatre, 8p.m.
Flambeaux Theatre writes and stages seven 10-minute plays in one day ($12)

 

Gal Holiday & the Honky-Tonk Revue
Chickie Wah Wah, 8p.m.
Authentic N.O. honky-tonk rock

 

Alligator Chomp Chomp

One Eyed Jacks, 10p.m.

A Louisiana and Gulf Coast vinyl dance party (free)

LUNDI

August 25th

Nymphomaniac Volume 1
Indywood, 6:30p.m.
Indywood screens Lars von Triers’ sex drama

 

Poupoupidou (Nobody Else But You)
Café Istanbul, 7p.m.
A crime novelist investigates an apparent suicide in Gérald Hustache-Mathieu’s thriller ($5)

 

California X, Heat Dust, Pope
Saturn Bar, 9p.m.
Noisy garage punk from western Mass ($5)

 

King James & the Special Men
BJ's Lounge, 10p.m.
Weekly gig in the Bywater for downtown rhythm and blues

 

Doyle, Ashylus, The Bills
Siberia, 10p.m.
Solo project from ex-Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein ($15)

MARDI

August 26th

Michael Pitre: Five and Twenty-Fives
Octavia Books, 6p.m.
Iraq vet presents his debut war novel

 

Kermit Ruffins & The BBQ Swingers
Bullet’s Sports Bar, 7p.m.
See Kermit at home in the 7th Ward and get to bed early

 

Hard Girls, Broadcaster
Gasa Gasa, 9p.m.
Powerpop from both coasts, plus All People & Donovan Wolfington ($8)

 

Nymphomaniac Volume 1
Indywood, 9:15p.m.
Indywood screens Lars von Triers’ sex drama

 

Open Ears Music Series
Blue Nile, 10p.m.
This week ft. Piero Bittolo Bon & Marta Raviglia with James Singleton & Marcello Benetti ($10)


Inside the Bathtub

'Beasts of the Southern Wild' Director, Actors Talk Terrebone, Aurochs and The Final Frontier



After sweeping Sundance and Cannes, the team behind Beasts of the Southern Wild came home to New Orleans Monday night for the premiere of the movie that’s been on the tip of everyone’s tongues. On their arrival, the team behind the film that's made even the most curmudgeonly critics see hope in the form again, opened up about a movie that darted onto local radar screens only after getting attention abroad.

 

The brainchild of writer Lucy Alibar and co writer-director Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild was shot in Terrebone Parish. Ben Richardson’s cinematography transforms the landscape into the surrealist locale known as “The Bathtub,” a fictional swampland that sits in isolation from the levee-enclosed world around it. Residents live off the land, celebrate every day, and refuse to leave their home for anything, even a flood that threatens to take everyone with it.

 

Threaded into the ominous disaster narrative is the myth of the aurochs, prehistoric creatures that have been released from their glacial preserves to kill off the human race.

 

Through a Child's Eyes

Don’t let the synopsis fool you, Beasts is not a science fiction movie. The aspects of the film that are fantastical are drawn from a six-year-old’s understanding of the world.

 

Hushpuppy, the young heroine of the film, embodies the defiance and courage of a hardened soldier along with the innocence of a child who longs for her mother, and she makes viewers remember what it means to be a child.  

 

“The way that we think about everything is it’s Hushpuppy’s point of view. We try to turn off the adult lens and respect the way that she sees the world.  It’s her movie and what she says goes, what she believes is real. It’s about being six. When I was six I had an imaginary friend and they were sitting right there, and if they insulted me, I got upset,” Zeitlin said.  

 

Hushpuppy’s lens makes Beasts mythical in the purest sense of the word, and Zeitlin gave us a little more detail on how the threat of aurochs, the prehistoric villains of the film, fit in to Hushpuppy’s reality. 

 

“The aurochs come from the cave paintings, and the reason for them is I see Hushpuppy as the last of her kind," Zeitlin said. "There’s this connection to me between her and these cavemen who are making this mark and leaving evidence of what was there before the ice age and who we were before we were wiped out and reinvented ourselves.”  

 

Ultimately, Hushpuppy’s character "sees herself as on the same plane as every creature in the universe and is trying to understand her place in that equation,” Zeitlin said.   

 

Houma native Quvenzhane Wallis, who dazzled critics in her role as Hushpuppy, said that she approached the project fearlessly. “It was something that I wanted to try, so why not try?” she said. NoDef asked Wallis how she prepared for her part, and she said that “it was a family thing we did.”   

 

Bakery to Big Screen

Hushpuppy’s father, Wink (Dwight Henry), makes sure that his daughter knows how to take care of herself long before most children are expected to act as independents. In fact, the two characters have separate houses in the film. Although there are points when Wink’s harsh approach towards parenting is difficult to watch, his love for his Hushpuppy never goes unnoticed.

 

“It all comes down to him understanding that he’s not going to be around forever and he needs to teach her to survive in extremely hostile situations," Zeitlin, a New Orleans resident, said. "The final frontier for her is that she gets to the end of what Wink can teach her. She needs to find this grace and this tenderness that comes from this mother who’s not around.”

 

 

New Orleans resident Dwight Henry chanced upon the opportunity to play Wink. Henry owns “The Buttermilk Drop,” in the Treme, but he was in the process of moving his business from St. Claude when casting agents posted up across the street. 

 

“They used to put fliers in the bakery. Me and Michael Gottwald were sitting in there and I decided to audition for the part," Henry said. "Within that time period I moved my business [from St. Claude Avenue] and they were looking for me to give me the part. They wanted to give me the role, but I wasn’t ready to take it,” Henry said. “Eventually, I was able to work things out with the bakery.”  

 

Henry said that his role took very little preparation despite his lack of acting experience.

 

“Going through these things, I go through them in real life. The holdouts, refusing to leave the things that they love more than anything in the world. I’m from New Orleans and a lot of times you have to go through that. I’m one of the holdouts. It would take the Navy, the Army, the National Guard.” 

 

 

There are obvious parallels to southeast Louisiana, where it was filmed. However, what makes this film resonate with audiences transcends personal connections and hits a universal chord.

 

Zeitlin said that Terrebone Parish residents welcomed the film crews with open arms.

 

“We weren’t living in hotels in a far away place. We got taken in by the community," he said. "I was down there for several months and I probably spent the first few weeks just being the guy with the laptop and typing and getting made fun of by everybody. Eventually, someone comes by and says ‘put down your laptop, get in this boat, we’re going to show you how to hunt alligator.’ You very quickly end up at the dinner table.”

 

Rolling Out the Red Carpet

The bright lights and red carpet lining the entrance to the Joy Theatre on Canal Street Monday night seemed a long way from the Terrebone bayou. The cast and crew all gathered to premiere the film. We still have another week to wait to see the film in New Orleans, as it comes out on July 4. But on the backs of the successful festival debut, we've already heard plenty about the film. Finally, the people who were getting so much buzz could introduce themselves to the public.


Lowell Landes, who played “Walrus” in the film, donned a seersucker jacket. When NoDef asked him where he got his duds, he surprised us.

 

“As a matter of fact, I went down to the Bridge House, and this thing was laying there. I said, ‘dude, how much for that,’ and he said, ‘we gotta check it in.’ I coulda stole it,” Landes joked.

 

We caught up with Henry again, this time dressed in a suit and mugging for the camera. He said that he wanted to use his experience to empower his kids as well as young people in New Orleans as a whole.

 

“I hope something good can come from it outside of fame for me. Whatever successes that I have, I’m going to find a way to give a whole bunch back to New Orleans.”

 

Finally, we talked to the brightest star of the bunch. NoDef asked Houma resident Wallis whether or not New Orleans was her favorite red carpet. She responded, “Yeah, because it’s somewhere that I love. It’s my home.”    

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Contributors:

Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Elizabeth Davas, Ian Hoch, Lindsay Mack, Anna Gaca, Jason Raymond, Lee Matalone, Phil Yiannopoulos, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham,

Staff Writers

Cheryl Castjohn, Sam Nelson

Listings Editor

Anna Gaca

Art Listings

Cheryl Castjohn

Photographers

Brandon Roberts, Rachel June, Daniel Paschall

Film Critic

Jason Raymond

Puzzler

Paolo Roy

Art Director:

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor:

B. E. Mintz

Published Daily by

Minced Media, Inc.

Editor Emeritus



Stephen Babcock