Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Focus Features Picks Up Ruth Negga/Joel Edgerton 'Loving' Story (Based on Anti-Miscegenation Case) Focus Features Picks Up Ruth Negga/Joel Edgerton 'Loving' Story (Based on Anti-Miscegenation Case) HBO Drops First Trailer for 'Confirmation' HBO Drops First Trailer for 'Confirmation' Watch First Trailer for 'Roots' Reboot Watch First Trailer for 'Roots' Reboot Watch: Sri Lankans of African Descent Fight to Keep Their Culture Alive in 'Kaffir Culture' Watch: Sri Lankans of African Descent Fight to Keep Their Culture Alive in 'Kaffir Culture' Taraji P. Henson Will Topline Film Based on Story of Black Women Mathematicians Who Worked for NASA During the Space Race Taraji P. Henson Will Topline Film Based on Story of Black Women Mathematicians Who Worked for NASA During the Space Race Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

SXSW '12 Doc Review: Teens Aimlessly Wonder Through The Night In "Tchoupitoulas"

Shadow and Act By Vanessa Martinez | Shadow and Act March 13, 2012 at 1:33AM

There seems to have been mostly documentaries featured this year at SXSW for the films pertaining to our site. One of them, Tchoupitoulas, helmed by brothers Bill and Turner Ross, began promisingly. The beginning sequences instantly hooks the viewer; the film introduces our teen protagonists in their New Orleans home, as they partake in domestic sibling rivalry, showcasing a palpably real, amusing and bittersweet dynamic between the youngest and one of the oldest brothers.
2
Tchoupitoulas

There seems to have been mostly documentaries featured this year at SXSW for the films pertaining to our site. One of them, Tchoupitoulas, helmed by brothers Bill and Turner Ross, began promisingly. The beginning sequences instantly hooks the viewer; the film introduces our teen protagonists in their New Orleans home, as they partake in domestic sibling rivalry, showcasing a palpably real, amusing and bittersweet dynamic between the youngest and one of the oldest brothers.

The teens, along with their dog, decide to venture into the New Orleans' naughty and vivid nightlife. The film centers on the charismatic youngest brother, whose innocence and curiousity is the focus of most of the film; however, the documentary can be mostly appreciated by the pictorial scenery, vibrant music and peculiar entertainers and perfomers more than the actual interactions between the brothers.

There are few funny exchanges; especially as the youngest is frequently teased by his older brothers; but unfortunately, it becomes wearily redundant. This 80-min documentary would have worked best as short. The brothers' journey becomes tiresome; the documentary ends up dragging, until it comes to a point when you really want these boys to go home and get some food; you can't help to ask to yourself, "where is this going?" 

The filmmakers set out to record one night through the eyes of young impressionable minds; the adventure is more of an experiment, since their odyssey really leads to nowhere. There are several long takes, a few which didn't take place in the pintoresque streets. The brothers end up exploring an abandoned boat, and later on they wait to catch a ferry back their side of town; ordinary and unremarkable experiences.

I went in expecting an exhilarating experience, or some other meaningful occurrence, but I left the theater feeling underwhelmed. Overall, the documentary's strenghts lie in its photography, art direction, sound mixing and editing. Other than that, there's not much substance.

This article is related to: Reviews, South By Southwest Film Conference and Festival (SXSW)


Shadow & ActNewsletter