Cross posted from the MoviePass blog:
When you think of New Orleans, what comes to mind? Food for some. Hurricanes for others. Movies for me. And, of course, no thought about the city should be without the most obvious answer - music. You don't even have to leave your stoop to hear a juicy tune playing. Without that element, this city wouldn't be as alive as it is.
And which performer best represents this?
Meschiya Lake is a sort of revivalist style jazz singer, belting out wonderful notes on street corners for tourists and city dwellers alike. She has a background in circus acts, a plethora of tattoos and looks/sounds dynamite. She bikes around town, joyfully training her voice for the next song. She is strong, fun and very talented. Alive is the perfect word to describe her.
Before watching "True Family", I had never heard of Meschiya (I ought to be shot). I knew of bands like Tuba Skinny (who were nice enough to let me use their music for my #TeamNOLAFilm podcast), but that was about it. Knowing what I know now, I'm hit with a wave of sadness that there was a whole musical community in the area that I was unaware of - This was followed by absolute happiness when I discovered her album on Spotify. But what really impresses me here is how, through this singer, we are given a novel glimpse of a thriving young creative crew.
You see, this is really more a profile on an artistic circle - one that works with one another. Musicians help each other out, floating from band to band, getting the word out and improving the culture. Others like dancers and designers get in on the act, contributing their talents not so much for the money (the little that is available), but for the joy of expression. This look at the New Orleans music culture makes my heart flutter.
Recently, there was a tiny spat that spilled onto social networks between two local film organizations, with one accusing the other of monopolizing venues. Ironically, both groups encourage teamwork from everyone involved in the movie community, from directors to critics. Can we call the NOLA film community a true family? Well, sometimes families do argue...
"True Family" will be showing at this years New Orleans Film Festival on October 15th. Buy your tickets here.