He was super nice. But he can’t not be noticed. Like every third person that came on the plane, he would be like, “Oh and you’re just a magnificent little so-and-so” and “you’re just a big lumberjack who loves his mother.” And then I fell asleep during the flight and I woke up and he was like, “Were you dreaming? What kind of dreams were you having?” He was right in my ear. I’m like, I can’t believe this is happening to me. I’ve never flown first class. I’ve never been to New Orleans and now I got Richard Simmons in my ear, you know asking me about my dreams and trying to give me some psych read or something.Read the whole thing.
Every year the 48 Hour Film Project hosts competitions in more than 100 cities around the world, from Cape Town, South Africa to Seoul, South Korea. Teams draw a genre, line of dialogue and prop and have 48 hours to write, shoot and edit a film of four to seven minutes length. New Orleans holds its contest every summer. The Wand (above) won best film honors in 2013.
Each city's top film goes on to compete at Filmapalooza for top honors. Local 48 Hour Film Project organizer Alexander Garcia announced that Filmapalooza 2014 will be held in New Orleans March 6-9. Screenings will be held at The Joy Theater, and the weekend also includes panel discussions, parties and more.
The Saenger Theatre opened its doors today for the first time since Hurricane Katrina closed the Canal Street landmark in 2005. Under new twinkling fiber optic ceiling stars — part of a $52 million renovation — Mayor Mitch Landrieu proclaimed the project a symbol “of resurrection, redemption, resilience, of building the city not back the way she was but the way she should have always been.”
The Saenger was built in 1927 and the team of public-private entities responsible for its renovation, including the Canal Street Development Corporation, Ace Theatrical Group and the City of New Orleans, restored the building to reflect the original, with modern accoutrements like an expanded stage. The inside is complete with the dashing red carpet reminiscent of the original, and everything from the chandeliers to the paint scheme was researched for historical accuracy and constructed to reflect the building’s original interior. “All of the work that you see here is a reincarnation of the original designs and the original paintings,” Landrieu said.
The Saenger will host a slew of Broadway shows, musical, comedic and stage acts, including a grand opening performance by Kristin Chenoweth and the Louisiana Philharmonic Oct. 5. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld performs three shows during this weekend’s soft opening. New Orleans is the third largest producer of Hollywood films, behind New York and Los Angeles, thanks to film credits offered by the state and will have an originating tax credit for Broadway productions as well, Landrieu said, “because, in order for this thing to work, these seats have to be full, and the productions have to be great.”
Broadway Across America President Lauren Reid said “New Orleans will now be a destination for Broadway’s best and brightest.”
Though the opening is one of the most anticipated post-Katrina rebuilding efforts and a linchpin of the Canal Street corridor rehabilitation, Landrieu said “there’s other stuff going on. This is not the only thing that’s happening as you think about what is occurring just in this general space, in these two square miles. You have the VA and UMC hospitals, $2 million coming out of the ground as we speak.”
New Orleans City Council President Jackie Clarkson was in the Saenger for her fifth birthday, before World War II. “Thanks for the memories,” she said. “Many a tale has been woven in this edifice.”
After dozens of stakeholders squeezed behind a gold ribbon for a photo-op, the curtains of the Saenger opened to display its historic SAENGER letters, lighted and floating on the newly revealed stage. “You have this before you today,” Landrieu said. “It’s a gift to the people of the city of New Orleans.”
Came home from the grocery store this pm to a passed out waiter on my front lawn. Took my daughter and I 45 mins. to figure out who he was.— Mary B. Sonnier (@ChefMarySonnier) June 29, 2013
First it giveth, then it taketh away. Newspapers are dead and buried then return to a daily schedule. New Orleans Pelicans come and go within minutes. Prison donuts are a thing and likely will not be anymore. The right and left react to landmark decisions in Texas and D.C. A $100 brunch institution shuffles off this mortal coil. Service industry employees slumber in unusual ways. Governors — do they poop?
In this week's delayed edition of Y@ Speak (not what you expected, right?), New Orleans examines what is real, or really real, and whether they're, you know, cool about it. If not, one can always seek refuge in Target on the West Bank, where the celebrities go.
The Contemporary Arts Center opens an exhibit focusing on the film Beasts of the Southern Wild, other earlier movies by Court 13 artists and art installations by Eliza Zeitlin, younger sister of Beasts writer/director Benh Zeitlin. Many of the buildings and props in the film were created by Eliza, and she's been active in local art installations, including the Music Box.
Beyond "Beasts": The Art of Court 13 opens Friday with a reception and party featuring a reading by Beasts cowriter Lucy Alibar and music by the Lost Bayou Ramblers. Video installations include unseen footage from the film, behind the scenes footage and earlier Court 13 films. More on that here. (The teaser above was released by Fox Searchlight Pictures seven months ago and is not included in the exhibit.)
Tonight, Benh Zeitlin and Beasts and Court 13 filmmakers will screen other footage and discuss the film at the CAC's ArtSpeak at 7 p.m. Seating is limited.
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