Saturday, September 19, 2015

Tchoupitoulas (2012)

Directors: Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross

Composer: Casey Wayne McAllister

Starring: William Zanders, Bryan Zanders, Kentrell Zanders

More info: IMDb

Plot:  In this documentary, three adolescent brothers take us on a lively journey through one immersive night in New Orleans, encountering a vibrant kaleidoscope of dancers, musicians, hustlers and revelers and introducing us to the people who make the city their home.

My rating:  4/10 (I'd go higher but I was bored within minutes)

Will I watch it again? No.

I love New Orleans. It's rich with culture and it's always a great place to visit.  Because of that, I'm open to watching anything shot or set there.  This documentary isn't exactly going to make you homesick and you certainly don't get any information out of the trailer for what you're in for which is one of the weakest trailers I've ever seen and I've seen thousands.  Yeah, you get to see bits of the French Quarter and the Riverwalk areas but our three young subjects aren't a strong way to show us what the city has to offer.  I realize this wasn't made by the travel board but it's certainly not convincing by way of what we get with these kids.  Even though the youngest talks about his dreams (like wanting to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for being the first person that can fly (like Superman)) we don't get anything like that from the others.  It's often perceived that we're still with the kids as the camera goes inside bars, strip joints, brothel-like places and so on, all of which would never let these kids into in the first place.  More contrivances are the kids missing the last ferry back at night and the idea that everything in the film is presented as if it's all over the course of one night which it isn't.  Too much time is spent with the three exploring an abandoned casino on the river's edge.  They pretend to be in potential danger of being caught by authorities but it's yet another contrivance.  The best part, besides seeing tourists, street performers, hookers, etc., is when the camera is in the wings of a burlesque club, just offstage, filming Perle Noir (with the Bustout Burlesque troupe (a GREAT show if you ever get to see them live - they're fantastic!!!) do her thing and boy does she do it!!!  By the way, the name of the film is the name of a street in NO and it's pronounced CHOP-UH-TWO-LUSS.  This film is part of an Oscilloscope double DVD set with ONLY THE YOUNG (2012).  This film is presented in anamorphic widescreen and the extras you get are that WTF trailer, a 15-minute making of featurette which doesn't really tell you much (they do but it's sparse and there are long stretches of seemingly meaningless shots) but it's more of a series of stuff they didn't film for the movie and includes the directors, the crew and the three kids.  And then there are trailers for four Oscilloscope releases. 

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