Unique But Superficial
A reader | New Orleans | 08/05/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Storyville existed from 1898 to 1917 as a district where prostitution was not illegal-nor was it strictly legal, either. This film, narrated by a fictional prostitute of the era, attempts to depict Storyville and its denizens. It features an interview with Al Rose, whose book 'Storyville New Orleans' is the definitive work on the topic. The film is very strong on the life of the prostitutes and the social structure of Storyville. It makes some over-generalizations about jazz that can be pardoned in a glossy work. Male prostitution goes unmentioned. The worst flaw is that it provides none of the reasoning for the establishment of Storyville-the French Quarter was over-run with bordellos, among other things-and it has very little discussion of what happened after Storyville was closed down. Rent this DVD if you can, except for hard-core New Orleans history buffs (like me) it's not a keeper."
Old New Orleans.
P. J. M. Hamill | Philadelphia, PA United States | 05/01/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A great look to the past of a world long gone, Storyville gives us the history of Jazz and old time prostitution. Jelly Roll Morton's ragtime and Madam Lulu Whites brothel, and finally the end of an era with the arrival of WW1. A must see for Jazz fans as well as history buffs. Check out the Ham Dance!"
Contrary to what some have claimed;THIS ONE IS A"KEEPER"
Charles H. Levenson | new jersey | 12/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some who have submitted reviews here have claimed that this one hour video is"superficial"and therefore not worthy of being a"keeper"..I would have to strongly disagree..If one is interested in delving very deeply into either Jazz as a musical style,or the red-light district of New Orleans that was known a"storyville"then I have three words for such a person"READ A BOOK...One hour videos,indeed,two or three hour videos hardly have time to scratch the surface,much less give the sort of detailed information that one can get by reading a 400 plus page tome...
This video is entertaining,well put together,and it does provide the viewer with all of the important facts,while providing pictures and music to make those facts go down easier...
Ken Burns made his reputation putting together a nine hour overview of the American civil war,back in the 1990s...Despite all of the critical praise one can hardly claim that any segment on any battle or event mentioned was anything more than"superficial"...spending ten or even fifteen minutes on,say,the battle of Gettysburg or the assassination of Lincoln hardly qualifies as in-depth probing,of the sort that just about ANY book will provide...Nonetheless,the program was entertaining,just in the same manner as this one hour overview of"Storyville" is...If you are interested in how New Orleans style jazz evolved ,especially in the old red light district,then this is the VIDEO for you..It may well challenge you into going deeper,which means reading a book,which,while providing you with more data will not be as entertaining..."