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Wednesday, November 14, 2018



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New Louisiana Film Trail website; state plans more

New Louisiana Film Trail website; state plans more


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana's new film trail runs from New Orleans and Elvis Presley's "King Creole" to northwest Louisiana's "Bonnie and Clyde" museum, by way of the home for "Steel Magnolias."

"People love to take their pictures at a place where a movie was," said Doug Bourgeois, assistant secretary over tourism in the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. People attending the Essence Festival in July even asked where to find the nonexistent Bourbon Street zip line, shown in the comedy "Girls Trip," he said Friday.

The film trail link to the Bonnie and Clyde museum in Gibsland marks A&E's two-part 2013 TV movie about the murderous robbers, rather than the Oscar-winning 1968 movie, which was filmed in the Dallas area.

"Although the A&E series was mainly shot in East Baton Rouge Parish, the museum is a must-visit for fans of the Bonnie and Clyde story," the website states. "In addition to the museum, visitors can also pass by the marker on Highway 154 that marks the location where Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were ambushed by police in 1934."

It's among 22 movies and TV shows, plus four regional film trails, highlighted on the state website https://www.louisianatravel.com/film. Bourgeois said the shows deliberately cover a wide range, both in time — several are silent movies— and genre, including comedies, dramas, historical films, war stories, science fiction, and even a reality TV show.

At the top of the page is a montage of some of the more than 2,500 shows shot in Louisiana since the silent "Tarzan of the Apes" was filmed in 1917 and released in 1918.

A study released in April estimated that 9 percent of all visitors to Louisiana — or about 4 million people last year — were influenced by shows created in the state. The "Lights, Camera, Louisiana" website will help them find places to see, Bourgeois said.

The main website's text section notes, "although you may not be familiar with Creature, Red River Ode or The Ninth ... you've probably heard of Beasts of the Southern Wild, 12 Years a Slave, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Pelican Brief and Monster's Ball."

None of these movie sets appears among the 21 sites linked from a map just below the text, followed by an alphabetical set of 22 buttons, each showing a title and a location or still from that show, plus the regional trail buttons, such as "Cajun Coast" and northwest Louisiana.

There are various reasons those are unlinked, Bourgeois said. For instance, there's no specific site available for Tarzan, and his office is working to get permission for locations filmed in "12 Years a Slave."

"We're looking at 'A Streetcar Named Desire' since it's had a huge impact, but we can't find a place. There's no specific place where a visitor could go and say, 'The movie was actually filmed at this spot,'" he said.

South Louisiana settings, including New Orleans, make up 15 of the map's electronic pins. The one for New Orleans links to "King Creole" and the address of the French Quarter balcony from which Elvis sang the movie's opening number.

Central Louisiana is represented by locations for two 1989 movies — Natchitoches (NAK-uh-tesh), where "Steel Magnolias" was filmed, and Winnfield, the setting for "Blaze," about Gov. Earl K. Long's relationship with burlesque dancer Blaze Starr.

The page about "Steel Magnolias" notes: "The most iconic scenes were filmed at the Cook-Taylor House near downtown Natchitoches. Because of the success of the movie, the Cook-Taylor House is now referred to as the 'Steel Magnolia house' and has been converted into a bed and breakfast."

The current film trail is just a start — the state expects to add many more sites, Bourgeois said. There's also a nomination link on the website.