Sunday, September 21, 2008

Louisiana Purchase

Louisiana Story (1948)
directed by Robert J. Flaherty
rating: 5 out of 5 cravats
on DVD from Netflix

I know it gets boring to watch me tie on cravats like Peter getting ready for a night out at the Impersonators' Guild, but if the Rockefeller millions can't sell me on a movie's worth, I wouldn't be the civic-minded patriot I am. This tiny myth is many things - a testament to hard work, to innovation, to faith in fellow man - but first (literally, first) a boy threading his way through the ferns and moss of a bayou while a quiet voice intones a song of mermaids beneath the sea and werewolves in moonlit fens. Everything after grows out organically, even the steel behemoth that leaves as quietly as it came. I don't remember Nanook of the North having half as much to show about the northern tundra as Louisiana Story imparts about a southern swamp. Maybe because here the hero is a kid. Truly beautiful.