Tuesday 22 Jul

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · OCMA screens Hurricane Katrina...

OCMA screens Hurricane Katrina documentary

Mike Robertson December 11th, 2008

For those of us who don't know New Orleans, the damage left by Hurricane Katrina is still an abstract concept. Aerial shots on the news showing roofs peering up from the stagnant floodwater surface, a...

For those of us who don't know New Orleans, the damage left by Hurricane Katrina is still an abstract concept. Aerial shots on the news showing roofs peering up from the stagnant floodwater surface, ant-sized people crowded on bridges, and bunched-up washes of unidentifiable, muddy debris were the only concrete evidence we had of the storm's aftermath.

And even after all the reports, profiles and charitable events held over the three years since, it's still difficult for most of us to fully process the width and depth of what was destroyed.

"Trouble the Water," a documentary screening Thursday through Saturday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, makes an earnest attempt to steer us away from that mainstream-media representation of New Orleans as a mass-scale deluge and push in on one family from the city's lower Ninth Ward.

Co-directors Tia Lessin and Carl Deal assemble their narrative largely from footage shot by Kimberly Rivers Roberts and her husband, Scott. The Roberts were living in a neighborhood where they both had deep roots when Katrina made landfall. The day before the hurricane arrived, Kimberly was making the local rounds with her video camera, asking her neighbors why they weren't evacuating and how they planned make it through the storm. Many, including Kimberly and Scott, didn't have the resources to get out of town, and nowhere to go even if they did. Most seem nervous but hopeful; one man responds by getting as drunk as possible, and the rest prepare for what will undoubtedly be a nasty, but hopefully not unmanageable, storm.

Of course, as we watch the Roberts shoot footage first from their front porch, then from their upstairs bedroom, and then from their attic, it becomes clear that the worst possible scenario has come to pass.

What follows is the story of what happens to one family and its neighborhood after the flood is over. The Roberts didn't have much to begin with, and without their jobs, possessions, friends and family, they're cut loose to float like the rest of the city's detritus.

While the scenes during and immediately after the hurricane are as tense and upsetting as you would expect, the scenes documenting the Roberts' return visits to their former home are the most poignant. From finding their two dogs alive to discovering a neighbor dead in his house three weeks after the storm, the couple's emotions run the gamut from joy to despair.

While no one can deny that the Federal Emergency Management Agency dropped the ball in New Orleans, it's a point that "Trouble the Water" spends a little more time than necessary reiterating. While the government's neglect is certainly part of how things work out, spending so much time being outraged about it directs too much of the film's resources toward now-obvious, almost universally accepted political conclusions. This takes something away from the small-scale human story, which is what sets this movie apart and makes it worth watching in the first place. "Mike Robertson

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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