J.B. Spins

Jazz, film, and improvised culture.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

EW on NOLA

In the Aug. 10th issue Entertainment Weekly remembered there’s a little rebuilding going on in New Orleans. Their oral history style feature actually raises some interesting issues.

For one thing, they (perhaps accidentally) raise some important second amendment points:

Antoinette K-Doe, owner of R&B venue the Mother-in-Law Lounge ‘We took on five and a half feet of water. I have an apartment upstairs, and I was up there seven and a half days. They did a lot of looting around here. Some guys were out there saying, “Tonight, we’re gonna go in the Mother-in-Law Lounge.” I shot over their heads with a shotgun. I said, “I don’t think y’all want to come in here.”

Joann Guidos, owner of music venue Kajun’s Pub ‘I pulled out my weapons to protect my place. We had a couple of people that made threats, and I said “Come on by, we’ll be here waiting.” They never came back. But I was running out of fuel and, on Sept. 7, U.S. Marshalls took all my weapons. I left Sept. 8.”

Later in the feature, EW listens to producers and actors currently filming in New Orleans. One makes an important point:

“Tony Kaye, director of Black Water Transit ‘Because the film is using the flood as a backdrop, we have to be careful. You don’t want to benefit from someone else’s misfortune.’”

It is great to bring productions to New Orleans, supporting the local economy. Focusing attention on circumstances in New Orleans can also be helpful, but individuals’ sensitivities and privacy should be respected. Robert Polidori’s photo exhibit at the Met last year crossed that line, intruding in the personal loss of hundreds of families, even identifying their street addresses in the photo titles. One can make a statement without the exploiting the people involved, and if Kaye gets that, it is to his credit.

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