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2 films march of time and Parade of Krewe of Rex, New Orleans, February 25, 1941
This is one of these “What the heck was THAT?” type of footage that I just love to discover. We see some footage of a New Orleans (?) dixie band, some members are introduced later on in the film as Willie Hoffman and Clinton Bassey (?). Much of the music is hard to hear as the drums get in the sound too much. After a little bit of this we cut to a couple sticking their heads out of a porthole. Why? Who knows. We cut back badly to the band, they play a bit more. We then get another cut to a older guy sitting in a chair. we cut to him midsentence, and he says, I quote: “That exports should be paid by imports and not either by fits (?) or by loans” And then we cut BACK to the jazz band! This is probably the zaniest thing I’ve ever seen! Anyways, the footage of
Amateur film: Parade of Krewe of Rex, New Orleans, February 25, 1941
Once again, the home movies of one lovely Mardi Gras fan has yielded a time encapsulated gem of a kinder, more civilized Carnival. Aside from the intrinsic deficiencies, notice how well-dressed and civil are the revelers, even those in costumes are having a wonderful time. What more innocent a time in Carnival’s history that the time between the Great Depression and World War II. It is a time that is celebrated in these short, disjointed scenes of what must have been a memorable Mardi Gras for the photographer.
The costume choices really tell a great deal about what was to be expected from the celebrations. Everyone in these shots is an active participant, rather than a disconnectd observer. In the crowd, you can see dozens of examples of costuming of some kind, form, or fashion. Another poster mentioned the large number of gypsies. This was a popular theme in the 30’s and 40’s, as were the Southern belles, still hot from the “Gone With The Wind” fad. Cowboys and indians, a popular theme from the Tom Mix westerns and Roy Rogers’ radio programs. There is also a kind of palpable joy in these shots; the joy of a people celebrating an era when all was seemingly correct in the universe. A kind of sweet abandonment that can only be enjoyed by those whose lives are safe and secure. The best example of this are the impromptu shots of a dance contest whose participants are the definition of reckless.
One other reason for treasuring this footage is for the rememberance of Canal St. in those days before the war. Though it remains the exact same distance, in these images the world’s widest street seems smaller, and more intimate.
Perhaps it is just the feeling of the day showing through some 6 decades later
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