The highly acclaimed film Beasts of the Southern Wild had its premiere last night at the Joy Theater, with director Benh Zeitlin and stars Dwight Henry and Quvenzhané Wallis (above). Read Ken Korman's recent cover story about the making of the film here.)
Beasts won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Camera d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival (for the best film by a first-time director). Most reviews are calling it one of the best movies of the year, capped off by A.O. Scott's review this afternoon in The New York Times:
Discovering this movie is like stumbling into a bar and encountering a band you’ve never heard of playing a kind of music that you can’t quite identify. Nor can you figure out how the musicians learned to play the way they do, with such fire and mastery. Did they pick it up from their grandparents, study at a conservatory, watch instructional videos on the Internet or just somehow make it all up? Are you witnessing the blossoming of authenticity or the triumph of artifice?
Those are interesting questions. They are also irrelevant, because right now you are transported by an irresistible rhythm and moved by a melody that is profoundly, almost primally, familiar, even though you are sure you have never heard anything like it before.
Beasts of the Southern Wild opens in New Orleans July 4.
A city of New Orleans purchasing evaluation committee today scored Unum the most qualified of nine bidders to take over as contractor for city employee life, dismemberment and accidental death insurance. The current contractor — The Hartford — was ranked sixth.
(The evaluation scores are based on a number of factors including whether a prospective contractor has offices in Orleans Parish — which Unum didn't score well on. Its local office is in Metairie — its willingness to meet city contract diversity goals by using certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) subcontractors, as well as quoted price and experience with other public employers.)
The committee was unable to vote to recommend Unum today after several members — including city Health Commissioner Dr. Karen DeSalvo and Deputy Mayor of Operations Michelle Thomas — had to leave early. Director of Finance Norman Foster said a meeting for the vote will likely take place in the next few days.
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In Kermit Ruffins’ world, food and music go together like red beans and rice. The joy of New Orleans food figures prominently in the trumpeter’s music, his band is called the Barbecue Swingers and for many years now Ruffins’ has made barbecue, red beans and other eats a fixture of his regular gigs, served up for free to his fans at the set break.
Now, Ruffins’ has his own restaurant. Kermit's Treme Speakeasy Restaurant (1535 Basin St. 309-5828) opened just after Jazz Fest this spring, serving traditional New Orleans food and some Creole-style country dishes and also doubling as a music venue.
The Rendezvous Tavern (3101 Magazine St., 891-1777) is having a public viewing party for the episode Tuesday night, with drink specials and food provided by Ms. Linda herself. The party starts at 8 p.m. and Chopped airs at 9 p.m.
The Times-Picayune reported on Friday that it has initiated a lawsuit against the city of New Orleans over a new New Orleans Police Department policy of redacting victim information from incident reports, which the newspaper contends is a violation of the state open records law.
From their story:
When [police reporter Brendan] McCarthy asked for an explanation of the redactions, the city attorney's office responded that the location of the incident should not have been redacted, but that it was appropriate to black out the other items. The newspaper asserts in its lawsuit that "there is no legal exemption" that allows the city to redact any of that information.
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(video via Davekoolman)
The 2012 Voodoo Experience announced former White Stripe and current solo artist Jack White will perform at the music-and-camping festival, which is Oct. 26-28 at City Park.
White — who also performs with The Raconteurs (which performed at the 2011 Voodoo) and The Dead Weather (which performed at the 2010 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival) — released his first-ever solo album, Blunderbuss, on his Third Man Records label in April to general acclaim.
White joins a lineup with headliners Neil Young & Crazy Horse and Green Day, and the festival also announced Thomas Dolby, The Avett Brothers, Die Antword, Silversun Pickups and Kaskade, as well as a ton of locals. Catch the full lineup here.
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