30 October 2012 9:02 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

As a resident of a city whose history of storms — and their concomitant unnatural disasters — is troubled at best, I watched Sandy warily but distantly. Thing always look different outside the "cone of uncertainty." The images coming in from the Northeast this morning put me in a more solemn frame of mind.   As the Washington Post quoted AccuWeather meteorologist Steve Wistar in this morning's top story, “Sandy is unfolding as the Northeast’s Katrina in terms of impact.” What that (somewhat hyperbolic) comparison might mean comes through most clearly in a pair of deeply felt documentaries about post-Katrina New Orleans, Spike Lee's magisterial, four-part "When the Levees Broke" (2006) and Tia Lessin and Carl Deal's smaller but no less powerful "Trouble the Water" (2008). Taken together, they form a map of those first and most difficult steps on the way back. (More on "Trouble the Water" »

- Matt Brennan

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