Episode #79 of The Swampflix Podcast: New Orleans French & PATOIS Film Fests 2019

Welcome to Episode #79 of The Swampflix Podcast. For our seventy-ninth episode, James & Brandon take care of some film festival-related Spring cleaning with a diverse line-up of foreign-language cinema. They discuss selections from this year’s New Orleans French Film Fest and PATOIS: The New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival.  Also, James makes Brandon watch the absurdist French drama La Moustache (2005) for the first time. Enjoy!

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–James Cohn & Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week (PATOIS Film Fest Edition) 3/21/19 – 3/27/19

The Broad Theater is the MVP in local cinema this week (as they often are), hosting the 15th year of PATOIS: The New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival. According to the festival’s official listing, PATOIS will “include new and classic fiction films from Senegal and Zambia, experimental short films from New Orleans, and documentaries highlighting social issues concerning law enforcement violence, immigration, transgender liberation, and gay refugees from Syria. Countries featured in this year’s festival include Palestine, Senegal, Syria, Zambia, Greece, Turkey, and the United States.”

Here are the few screenings at PATOIS we most recommend, as well as a few other films you should seek out on New Orleans big screens this week.

PATOIS Film Festival Selections at The Broad

Touki Bouki (1973) – “A pair of lovers, Mory and Anta, fantasize about fleeing Dakar for a mythic and romanticized France. The film follows them as they try to scavenge and hustle the funds for their escape. A 1973 classic of African Cinema, Touki Bouki conveys and grapples with the hybridization of Senegal.” Screening Sunday 3/24 at 4:30pm. 

I Am Not a Witch (2018) – “When 9-year old orphan Shula is accused of witchcraft, she is exiled to a witch camp run by Mr. Banda, a corrupt and inept government official. A hit at over 50 international festivals, I Am Not A Witch is a must-see for anyone interested in new African Cinema and contemporary female filmmakers.” Screening Saturday 3/23 at 5pm.

Betty: They Say I’m Different (2018) “Explosive 1970s funk pioneer Betty Davis changed the landscape for female artists in America. She was the first, as former husband Miles Davis said, Madonna before Madonna, Prince before Prince. An aspiring songwriter from a small steel town, Betty arrived on the 70s scene to break boundaries for women with her daring personality, iconic fashion and outrageous funk music. […] Creatively blending documentary and animation this movie traces the path of Betty’s life, how she grew from humble upbringings to become a fully self-realized black female pioneer the world failed to understand or appreciate. After years of trying, the elusive Betty, forever the free-spirited Black Power Goddess, finally allowed the filmmakers to creatively tell her story based on their conversations.” Screening Sunday March 24 at 7pm.

New Queer Stories – “Short films by queer and trans people of color.” Screening Saturday 3/23 at 7pm.

Other Films Screening in New Orleans

Us Jordan Peele follows up his instantly iconic debut feature Get Out (Swampflix’s favorite film of 2017) with what looks to be a surreal freak-out about doppelgangers & bunny rabbits.

Climax – Gaspar Noé’s best film to date is an over-the-top arthouse horror about a group of contemporary dancers whose wrap party turns violent when someone among them spikes the sangria with an overdose of LSD. This movie is as #edgy & obnoxious as anything else Noé has ever done, but it also features more death drops than Paris is Burning, so it’s an automatic A+. Playing only at The Broad & AMC Elmwood

Cruel Intentions (1999) – Returning to theaters for a single-week run to commemorate its 20th anniversary, this Dangerous Liaisons riff sparked the mildly-kinky sexual awakening of countless Millennials in my exact age range (not to mention converting us into hopeless, lifelong Placebo fans).

Rebel Without a Cause (1955) – The Old Hollywood staple that made James Dean a star and sold millions of dorm room posters everywhere. Screening Sunday 3/24 and Wednesday 3/27 as part of Prytania’s Classic Movies series.

-Brandon Ledet