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Movie Review: Make it Funky

Alternate Title: Ode to N' Orleans

Story: The timing of the release of this film could not have been planned better. I am sure director Michael Murphy did not have the heartbreak of this movie in mind when he created this loving tribute to the music and heritage of New Orleans but heartbreaking it is.

Narrated by the sweet voice of Aaron Neville and featuring all of the fine musicians who either live or were influenced by the unique sounds coming out of New Orleans we get a loving look at how the music was created. The blending of culture, language, segregation, poverty and tradition makes the sounds of New Orleans unlike anywhere else in the world.

Footage and performances from a concert held in April of 2004 juxtaposed with images of the New Orleans we all remember before Katrina are riveting.

As a documentary it is somewhat run of the mill but as a piece of history it is brilliant.

Acting: It is a documentary. This category does not apply.

Predilection: I am a news junkie and could not avoid seeing this film for its historical timeliness.

Critters: One street cat.

Food: No food, just lots of music for the soul.

Blatant Product Placement: The beautiful city of New Orleans.

Soundtrack: Toe tapplingly fabulous.

Theater Audience: A small devoted audience of music and history lovers.

Squirm Scale: I squirmed whenever I saw a neighborhood and wondered if that place was gone forever and if the people I was seeing in the film made it out safely. Fats Domino was one of the people the film honored and I winced when I remembered the images of him being rescued last week.

Tissue Usage: No tears - just the sound of my heart breaking.

Oscar Worthy: No

Soap Box: I know that New Orleans will rise again. But, like my wonderful City after September 11th, it will never be the same. It's citizens will come back and go through what we did. Conversations will begin with phrases like 'before Katrina' or 'after Katrina'. Memories and stories will have that familiar question, 'was that before or after?' And then new people will move to town and have none of those memories. They will simply know the New Orleans that they experience and only know the horror from the seared memories we all now carry. Be prepared for corruption, cronyism, bad politics and the rise of poverty once again in that part of the country. And of course great music will rise again as well.

Big Screen or Rental: You probably will not be able to find this film in a theater near you. So rental will be the way to go. For some other films shot in or about New Orleans you could rent: The Big Easy, The Cincinnati Kid, The Elysian Fields, Love Song to Bobby Long, Pretty Baby, JFK, Interview with a Vampire, King Creole, Suddenly Last Summer and of course the memorable Streetcar Named Desire.

Length: Under two hours