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New Orleans as the city of misfit In several Hollywood movies on the antebellum South, the city of New Orleans pivots upon an unruly woman, ill-adapted to the codes and customs of the country, to serve the cinematographic portrayal of the 19 th century Louisiana city, viewed as a topos of cultural and sexual instabilities, as well as a perfect site for spectacles and shows of all kinds.
Have you ever been in New Orleans? James R. Creecy, Scenes in the South Difficult to manage because of the motley crowds that poured into the city during the decades of its French and Spanish rules, and long after the transfer of Orleans bigger ladies to the United States of America inthe city of New Orleans created by the cinema stands out as a puzzling place due to its population shifts, but also due to its natural environment.
In many films seeking to capture the effervescence of the Southern port city, New Orleans is staged as a topos of corrupted Orleans bigger ladies and conventions. Surrounded by exotic, pestilential swamps teeming with alligators, snakes, and white trash folk, the bayou-bound city offers a vivid backdrop for scenarios affected by the idea of a fallen garden, so central to the Southern mythology.
In some of the films, New Orleans is a character, essential to the structure of the film itself. In others, it is merely in the background for beauty, mystery, and excitement. The city may appear throughout a film, or in just a small part. Wayne Schuth A great many of these curses remain intimately associated with tempestuous, destructive females, as women par qui le mal arrive accompany fires, floods, epidemics, economic crises, depressions, military conflicts, or other calamities, contagions, slumps or tensions. In keeping with this regal iconography, popular mythology later saw the allegorical royal Lady of the South deprived of her emblems of power.
Oh, weep for New Orleans! Ruys Smith The city was Orleans bigger ladies by several other invasions of yellow fever between the 18 th century and the beginning of the 20 ththe decades before the Civil War witnessing particularly deadly outbreaks of the epidemic. The period look is completed by an iconic Southern landscape: a moonlit garden with trees covered by Spanish moss hanging off the branches which gives the setting quite an eerie touch.
From the very beginning, the name of the Jezebel woman — known as the wife of King Ahab of Israel whose idol worship, blasphemy and further ill deeds led to a hideous end 3 — glistens in dark, smoldering letters on the screen. Ready to flame up, it foreshadows the arrival of the half-Lady, half-vixen who, like her biblical counterpart, seems incapable of repentance.
The atmosphere is grim and hellish, tar barrels burning on every street corner. Open wagons carry the sick and the dead to the docks, to be shipped off to Lazarette Island, a leper colony in the Gulf of Mexico.
New Orleans is represented metonymically by a series of masts and sails of schooners and other vessels which exported cotton, rice and tobacco, and hauled in people and goods from all over the world. Creecy, a Northern colonel quoted in the epigraph of this article:. Negroes in purple and fine linen, and slaves in rags and chains; Ships, arks, steamboats, robbers, pirates, alligators, Assassins, gamblers, drunkards, and cotton speculators, Sailors, soldiers, pretty girls, and ugly fortune-tellers, Pimps, imps, shrimps, and all sorts of dirty fellows; White men with black wives, and vice versa too.
A progeny of all colors — an infernal motley crew! Yellow fever in February — muddy streets all year; Many things to hope for, and a devilish sight to fear! Creecy As Thomas Smith notes in Southern Queen: New Orleans in the 19th centuryantebellum New Orleans was famous for its public spectacles of various kinds. Folks are bound to ship cotton downriver. So how can New Orleans keep from being the greatest city in America, fever or no fever? His words sound very much like those pronounced in Gone with the Wind by Rhett Butler who, on the eve of the Civil War, warns his fellow-Southerners — still clinging to an already-vanishing lifestyle — against too much arrogance and confidence in case of a war against the North.
This is what the opening scene of The Flame of New Orleans seems to stress, closing the camera eye on one of the main objects of trade: black slaves. And like Julie Marsden who creates a reckless, colorful alter ego with the help of a red dress, Claire invents a similarly wild, sexually compromising look-alike cousin Lili[th] from St. Petersburg, before her final attempt to cover up her tarnished past by a dazzling white wedding dress. The fairytalish tone is kept up until the end, as the pirate snatches Claire during her wedding to Giraud and the high society.
In the latter, voice-over narration sets up the story of a once-upon-a-time foreign Countess whose wedding dress was found floating on the Mississippi. The idea of a bride who put an end to her life is, however, soon brushed aside when the anonymous narrator begins the story of a woman who vanished from New Orleans leaving behind a veil of mystery. Jezebel unfolds with a seamless tracking shot on a market — according to Thomas Ruys Smith, the best metaphor for antebellum New Orleans:. While the 19 th century Southern city is established as a buoyant and festive place of commerce and trade, curiously enough, the most common sales item seen during the tracking shot is masks.
As in other respects, the city remains tragically attached to its old ways. Or rather a noise that arises from the shadowy street — that of horse hooves beating against the cobble-stoned street in the elegant quarter of New Orleans where Julie lives with her uncle and her Aunt Belle Fay Bainter.
Julie rides sidesaddle, but carries a crop in her hand: a that underlines her transitional status. Even the basically progressive Dr. Livingstone Donald Crisp believes that women are not to enter a bank or a bar, and ought to be whipped in case they rebelled against the paternalistic rules of the community. Until then, due to the Hollywood logic applied by the Production code, naughty women were to be punished for their transgressions and movable identities before the film was over and the spectators allowed to go home.
A series of silent stares and voiceless withdrawals underline how gracefully, yet no less vehemently the odd [belle-of-the] ball is ostracized after her faux pas has offended the polite society of the city. Once again, despite its overtones of prosperity and peace, the Southern Eden turns into a noxious, potentially sin-generating garden. Forgetting her former pettiness and ill will, Miss Marsden crosses the vicious, misty marshes — the very swamps her former suitor had unsuccessfully asked the city authorities to drain in order to limit the breeding of mosquitoes, and protect the community against the outbreak of yellow fever which it had already endured in Julie is a split and vacillating individual.
In fact, she IS the Deep South, beautiful, exotic, alluring, lavish and also savage and deadly dangerous. She moves by instinct rather than reason Her chief traits are absolute ruthlessness of purpose, and an intellectual honesty.
Miller Already in The Blue Angel Josef von Sternberg,Dietrich was seen as a heartless, fatal woman with few redeeming features. Later roles tend to show Dietrich as a prostitute of a kind, Orleans bigger ladies the marginal status depriving her of dignity and pride. As in The Flame of New Orleansthe woman is not what she should, but a body in service of successive masquerades. All through the film, the impression of constructedness is reinforced by the fact that none of the scenes was shot on location, in the actual South.
Ironically, when accepting the invitation to a bayou-surrounded mansion, the Old World bloodsucker Lon Chaney Jr. For while Atlanta Orleans bigger ladies, New Orleans survives, through its very sickness, squalor, decay and recreative disasters. Ballenger, Seale. Berkeley: Conari Press, Campbell, Edward D. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, Creecy, James R. Scenes in the South. Washington: Thomas McGill, Dixon, Wheeler Winston. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, Doane, Mary Ann. London and New York: Routledge, French, Warren, ed. The South and Film. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, Heider, Karl G.
Athens: The University of Georgia Press, Langman, Larry, and David Ebner. Westport: Greenwood Press, Miller, Gabriel. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, Piazza, Tom. Why New Orleans Matters. New York: HarperCollins, Ruys Smith, Thomas. London and New York: Continuum, Schuth, Wayne. Seidel, Kathryn Lee. The Southern Belle in the American Novel. Tampa: University of South Florida Press, Selznick hired Max Steiner to write the musical score for Gone with the Windone of the most famous scores of all times in film history.
— Plan du site. Plan 1. The Queen City of the South. Port of entry to the motley city.
The carnivalesque femme fatale. The Queen City of the South 6 Before the symbolic feminization of New Orleans lingered into the world of moving pictures, for better and for worse, it had already made its way into the American letters, including sentimental domestic novels and the s by many travelers to the city. Selznick hired Max Steiner to write the musi Bibliographie Ballenger, Seale. Haut de. Another Vision of Empire. Modernist Non-fictional Narratives of War and Peace Transnationalism and Modern American Women Writers Modernist Non-fictional Narratives: Rewriting Modernism Histories of Space, Spaces of History Artistic and Literary Commitments Disease and Pain: American Voices Suivez-nous Flux RSS.
Dans tout OpenEdition. Dans E-rea. Accueil Catalogue des revues OpenEdition Search. Tout OpenEdition. OpenEdition Freemium.Orleans bigger ladies
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