Monthly Archives: August 2010

Big Uneasy Post–Take Two

So, I posted about this yesterday, but I feel compelled to point out that The Big Uneasy is screening again this evening, at the newly rebuilt Chalmette Movies. I don’t think the word is getting out about this. Tickets are still available, and Harry Shearer will be in attendance.

Seriously, you should go, as there is NOTHING else going on. 7pm.


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The Big Uneasy

I know everyone is on Katrina overload, but tonight there is a very special one time event that no New Orleanian should miss. Harry Shearer–most famous (to me) for Spinal Tap, The Simpsons, and being an unlikely champion for New Orleans–produced a muckraking documentary about the disaster that happened in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. From what I have gathered, his purpose is in illustrating that what happened to the city was not so much a hurricane, as a preventable manmade disaster that was caused by human error and crumbling infrastructure–a point I have been trying to bring to make with curious out-of-towners ’til I’m blue in the face.

Tonight there is a simulcast of The Big Uneasy in 33 states. In New Orleans it is screening at Canal Place (7:00 and 9:30) and Prytania (4:45 and 9:30) and also at the new reopened Chalmette Movies (which finally has a website). In Chalmette it’s screening at 7:00 only, but is also screening tomorrow (Tuesday) at 7:00, and Mr. Shearer will be on hand for a Q&A after the film. It’s also screening, tonight, in Slidell (7:00 and 9:30).

Press release: On the morning of August 29th, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans. The hurricane flooded the levee system, which catastrophically failed. Eventually 80% of the city and the large tracts of neighboring parishes became flooded, and the floodwaters lingered for weeks.

In his feature-length documentary, The Big Uneasy, humorist and New Orleans resident Harry Shearer gets the inside story of a disaster that could have been prevented from the people who were there. As we near the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Shearer speaks to the investigators who poked through the muck as the water receded and a whistle-blower from the Army Corps of Engineers, revealing that some of the same flawed methods responsible for the levee failure during Katrina are being used to rebuild the system expected to protect the New Orleans from future peril.

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Katrina Anniversary at NOMA

What to do on Katrina day?

You know what you shouldn’t do? Get home from work about midnight on the morning of Katrina day and open a bottle of wine and watch the first three hours of If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise. You will wake up on the afternoon of Katrina day feeling depressed and a little head-achy, and wishing you had gotten to bed early so that you could have headed over to NOMA, where people are doing constructive things with their Katrina angst.

Admission to NOMA is free this weekend. Yesterday and this morning they screened all of season 1 of Treme. Now, from 1-4, there is family art making in the Great Hall.

Also, here’s the press release for the exhibit which just opened:

UNTITLED [New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, 2005] exhibition Misrach’s 69 photographs focus on the graffiti left by New Orleans evacuees, revealing a range of individual reactions and giving a human face to the wreckage. Among them are: “Don’t Try – I am sleeping inside with a big dog, an ugly woman and two shotguns …” “Hey Katrina!! That’s all you got? We will be back!!” and “Destroy this memory.”

Misrach shot the photographs between October and December 2005 with a 4 MP pocket camera. The Houston Museum of Fine Arts is also exhibiting the work. Five complete sets of the work have been created and are now in the permanent collections of NOMA, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Modern Art, New York, the National Gallery of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

At 2,  Misrach is giving a lecture in Stern Auditorium, and at 3 is signing in the Museum Shop.

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Mod Dance Party 10th Anniversary

Tomorrow is the 5th anniversary of the Katrina disaster, but more importantly, tonight is the 10th anniversary of Mod Dance Party! J/K. Sorry, feeling the need to lighten the mood for a moment.

So, what does one get/give for a tenth anniversary? Turns out it’s tin or aluminum. Well see, you’re all set, the ubiquitous can of PBR is perfectly appropriate.

Here’ a link to the Antigravity cover story about the momentous occasion.

…at my favorite bar in the world, Saturn Bar. 11p-wait too late.

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Gay Prom

For some years now NO/AIDS Task Force has put on an annual LGBT prom. It started out as an alternative to regular high school and college dances for gay students who would not be allowed to attend with a same sex date. This is becoming a national issue–discrimination against LGBT youth– thanks to some brave students and crusaders like Dan Savage.

Anyway, in 2006 re:Vision (“a CDC funded MPowerment project of NO/AIDS Task Force that aims to build a healthy social setting for gay and bisexual men ages 18-35. The project promotes safer sexual behavioral practices while encouraging members to create an environment that is safe, secure and free from judgment”) joined with NO/AIDS and opened up the prom to people of all ages, realizing that many LGBT people never got to have the prom experience. Pretty sweet, huh? To tell you the truth, I could use some catharsis regarding some adolescent school dance experiences…

So, anyway, it’s tonight. And it’s open to all aged members of the LGBT community, and friends and family. 7:30p-12:30a. @Zeitgeist. Can you imagine the ball gowns?

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With this week being the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, everyone is taking stock. Harry Shearer and Spike Lee have new movies out. Chris Rose imagines what it would be like had Katrina never happened. And, there are several books out–two of which have events tonight.

Dave Eggers, the author, and creator of McSweeney’s and 826 Valenica, will discuss and reads from his book, Zeitoun, at Tulane University’s McAlister Auditorium. Here’s a description of the book from Wikipedia:

Zeitoun is a nonfiction book written by Dave Eggers and published by McSweeney’s in 2009. It tells the story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, the Syrian-American owner of a painting and contracting company in New Orleans who chose to ride out Hurricane Katrina in his Uptown home. After the storm he traveled the flooded city in a secondhand canoe rescuing neighbors, caring for abandoned pets and distributing fresh water.

A little later, at 8:30, another book, entitled New Orleans: What Can’t Be Lost: 88 Stories and Traditions from the Sacred City, edited by Lee Barclay, and with photographs by Christopher Porché West, will be sold and signed at The Big Top. Also, there will be music by Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and a performance by The Pussyfooters.

Here’s the press release:

The eighty-eight stories and traditions in New Orleans: What Can’t Be Lost are the piano keys in a love song to the city. Alongside Christopher Porché West’s alluring black-and-white photographs, New Orleans’ culture bearers pay tribute to the city they call home. From Storyville to the Super Bowl, from cover to cover are found Pulitzer Prize-winning writers–four of them gathered on these pages; Creole chefs; float and costume designers; a break-acrobat flipping forward over tourists lying on the pavement like matchsticks across from Jackson Square; Black Mardi Gras Indians; parade captains; musicians; protectors of the city’s historic landmarks; writers of its poems and articles and novels and plays; and those who pass down traditions in the performance of New Orleans culture.

And here is the impressive roster of contributors:

Jason Berry, John Biguenet, Amanda Boyden, Rick Bragg, Poppy Z. Brite, Robert Olen Butler, Leah Chase, Joshua Clark, Andrei Codrescu, Lolis Eric Elie, Richard Ford, Fred J. Johnson, Jr., Errol Laborde, Ronald W. Lewis, Louis Maistros, Anders Osborne, Tom Piazza, Chris Rose, Kalamu ya Salaam, Henri Schindler, Ned Sublette, Barbara Trevigne, Christine Wiltz, Herreast J. Harrison, Sarah K. Inman, Lee Meitzen Grue, and more.

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Some Like it Hot

On a sweltering afternoon at the end of August in New Orleans, the phrase “Some like it hot” sounds like an existential discussion-starter. “Some do like it hot, indeed. Why is that?” It is also, perhaps, the greatest American comedy of all time. And, luckily for you, it’s the Wednesday matinee at the air conditioned Prytania Theatre. Some Like it Hot is certainly one of my favorites–risque and screwball, and wonderful. Noon.

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