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John Howell’s column

Lack of curiosity drives frustration

My wife in New Orleans is frustrating me. She won’t go out and find out what movie they’re filming on our front steps. Almost.

Monday before I left to come back to Batesville, guys went down the street posting signs. “No Parking from 6 a.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. Friday. Filming.” There was small line drawing of a tow truck pulling a car away.

They also left handbills listing streets that would be under the parking ban.  None of which concerns my wife. She doesn’t drive and I would be gone.

Filmmaking is big business in New Orleans. Recently legislated tax incentives for filmmakers and unique scenery make it very attractive. The attraction near our house is an old, two-story brick building that years ago housed a neighborhood bar known as Muenster’s (Monster’s, Munster’s?). The building has been undergoing renovation for years, a project that will likely continue indefinitely into the future.

It was also used as the setting for a movie filmed in 2004 which starred Freddie Prinz Jr. Released in 2206, Shooting Gallery went straight to video. I finally saw it once on some television channel.

 This production is apparently more involved. Trucks have lined the street. Rosemary said that it’s like having a huge traveling carnival set up in the neighborhood. She told me they piled up a bunch of limbs near the old bar building. Then she said a truck drove up with old, banged-up refrigerators. When they piled them together, she said she figured out they would be making a movie about Katrina.

Go out and find out what’s going on, I tell her. What’s the movie going to be, who’s in it? She feigns incuriousness, a trait that she has honed finely after having been occasionally embarrassed by my own overabundance of curiosity. ARRGH!