SXSW: Tchoupitoulas World Premiere
So when I saw Bill and Turner Ross’ documentary/love letter to the French Quarter, Tchoupitoulas, on the film fest schedule, I knew I had to be there for the world premiere.
Tchoupitoulas (pronounced Chop-uh-too-luss, y’all!) never actually seems to do any filming on the Nola thoroughfare that runs along the river that it draws its name from, but Algiers Point doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it, does it?
The film follows three young brothers as they take the ferry across the mighty Mississippi and miss the midnight boat back home, prompting a bombastic walkabout through the French Quarter as seen through literally virgin eyes. Think Adventures in Babysitting for the indie documentary era.
Youngest brother William steals the film over and over again with stream-of-consciousness musings about how to survive a bear attack, what women really want (Spoiler alert: a man with feelings!), and his future career goals (Six Super Bowl championship rings to be worn all on one finger, among other accolades).
Shot over nine months, Tchoupitoulas is as accurate of a glimpse into Nola nightlife as any ever captured on film. The full jazz band holding court at Bourbon and Canal, drag queens past St. Ann covering Proud Mary, topless dancers somersaulting across stage, and 19-year-old buskers playing old-timey instruments like accordians down on Frenchman. This is New Orleans, or at least the French Quarter, in her real form.
If you missed the premiere, you can catch additional screenings of the film on Sunday, Monday and Thursday at SXSW.
Go see this movie!