In this blend of documentary and fictional narrative from pioneering filmmaker Robert Flaherty, the everyday trials of life on Ireland's unforgiving Aran Islands are captured with attention to naturalistic beauty and historical detail.
Robert J. Flaherty
Colman 'Tiger' King,
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A young Cajun boy named Alexander Napolean Ulysses Latour spends his time on a Louisiana bayou. There he plays, fishes and hunts, worrying only about the alligators which infest its waters. The boy's innocent routine changes forever when his father signs a lease agreement with an oil company which brings a derrick into their corner of the bayou. Written by
Shannon Patrick Sullivan <email@example.com>
There's not a lot to say about this film. We get random images of a Cajun boy in his canoe, paddling quietly through a bayou, looking, watching, listening ... an alligator here, a snake there, all surrounded by lush swampland vegetation.
The plot is thin. About the only thing of interest is the appearance of an oil well crew that sets up a rig near the boy's home. The crew and the boy become friends, the crew curious about the boy's ability to catch fish, and the boy curious about the new technology. Yet, from the viewpoint of the 21st century, this heavy machinery is an odious intrusion into an otherwise natural, pristine environment. And the boy and his naïve papa seem oblivious to the lurking menace of oil drilling.
The B&W photography probably is the best element of the film. "Louisiana Story" is a mostly visual film with very little dialogue. It's almost a kind of travelogue to a backwoods paradise, sans plot.
I could have wished for some Cajun songs. The music that is provided is all nondescript 1950s-style elevator music. At least the performances are not marred by well-known, professional, actors. All of the actors seem to be either local non-actors or obscure B-movie performers. The absence of Hollywood adds substantial realism to the video.
"Louisiana Story" is a look back in time to an era when people were part of their environment, not separate from it. As such, the film conveys an idyllic tone, peaceful, serene, with only the hint of the technological nightmare yet to appear.
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