Tchoupitoulas

Tchoupitoulas ★★★★½

Captures beauty between the confines of existence and pushes itself around and through the highs and lows of the city in the nighttime, it's quite the achievement that New Orleans manages to feel this autonomous yet this familiar at the same time when I've never been there, this is a film that is surreal solely because of how rooted it is in realism, it's The Fisher King without any of the fantasy or the schizophrenia, a double dose of romanticism and yet the entire film is completely singular.

This is a film as alive as it is dead, a young child discovering the city for the first time alongside two people who left it behind long ago.

The rock and country anthems of past decades resurrect and redefine and recontextualise images onscreen and help build the sense that this is the place we live. A film that is at once a microcosm of life and the most whole picture we will ever get.

The discussion of Michael Jackson early on in the film helps redefine moments later on when one of the brothers nonchalantly half-whispers 'they don't really care about us' as another half-remembered rock ballad plays in the background as performed by a street musician.

One of the greatest moments is a long spinning set of 360-degree matchcuts in which we see the youngest brother amidst several locations wherein the musical style and influence is different in each place.

Moreso than anything else, this is a film of lonely people of whom are seen in passing trying to find ways not to be lonely, a film about the ways we interact with ourselves and with others who appear similar to ourselves and the ways we don't interact with anyone else, it's a film that familiarises us with the highlights of life as much as it distances us from them, it's a film as alive as it's uninspired and somehow that's a compliment, this is one of the best films most people will never see.

You don't realise how late it is until you see the sun come up once again, and then you remember: life continues. There is no 'start', there is no 'stop', there just is.

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