Festive weekend Uptown: Movies, books and music

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Daniel Galindo, 5, Nicholas Scandurro, 5, and Anthony Scandurro, 3, play in front of Latter Library during the First Annual Children's Book Festival in 2010. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Uptown New Orleans abounds with festival offerings this weekend, including New Orleans Film Festival screenings at the Prytania Theatre, a children’s book festival and Friday night symphony at Latter Library, the Gert Town festival, and a number of more specific celebrations.

Michael K. Williams in "Bayou Black," screening Saturday at the Prytania Theatre with "Lord Byron." (via neworleansfilmsociety.org)

As the New Orleans Film Festival opens today, the Prytania Theatre’s offerings could hardly be more varied: a high-art silent French film that rocked the Cannes Film Festival, a documentary about the corruption surrounding last year’s oil spill, and a horror flick deemed one of the most obscene ever made. The pattern continues throughout the weekend (our pick? The Wire‘s Michael Kenneth Scott in Louisiana swamp-set “Bayou Black,” showing with “Lord Byron” on Saturday evening); see the New Orleans Film Society website for a full schedule at the Prytania, Zeitgeist, Ashe Cultural Arts Center, Second Line Stages and citywide.

On Friday evening, the second annual Children’s Book Festival will launch with “Twinkle, Twinkle,” a symphony performance of music inspired by children’s literature, on the Latter library lawn at 6:30 p.m. The book festival itself will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, and will feature noted children’s authors reading from their books and other activities for children.

Also on Friday evening, the “King of Oak Street,” a documentary about action painter Frenchy, will have a free premiere and DVD release party starting at 7 p.m. at Tipitina’s Uptown, 501 Napoleon. Frenchy will be painting during the event, according to this preview by OffBeat magazine.

The Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing at Loyola University will host its inaugural conference, “The Moviegoer at Fifty,” celebrating the place of Percy’s novel in American literary history. The $25 registration fee for the public includes the Friday night keynote address by Percy biographer Jay Tolson, a reception afterward, and Saturday’s screening of “Walker Percy: A Documentary Film.” Access to the panels throughout Friday and Saturday costs $100.

The Second Annual Gert Town Fest from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday will feature music, food, children’s activities, health screenings and more at Norwood Thompson Park, 7200 Forshey Street (the corner of Earhart and Broadway).

As part of its third anniversary celebration this month, Hollygrove Market and Farm will host “Ghoulish Gourds and Veggie Monsters” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Seasonal gourds will be available for kids to paint for Halloween.

Audubon Zoo will host Celebración Latina on Saturday, with Latin musicians taking the stage at 11 a.m. Children’s activities, Latin cuisine and handmade crafts will also be available.

At 8 p.m. Saturday evening, McKeown’s Books will hold its 34th “Evening of Difficult Music,” a free performance of new and original music by Simon Berz and Simon Lott, using electronics, percussion and found objects.

One thought on “Festive weekend Uptown: Movies, books and music

  1. That’s fantastic about the plethora of Uptown festivals this past weekend! The New Orleans Film Festival, Children’s Book Festival, Gert Town Fest, and the Celebracion Latina are terrific. It’s great about the “King of Oak Street” documentary viewing, Loyola University’s Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing’s “The Moviegoer at Fifty” conference, Hollygrove Market and Farm’s “Ghoulish Gourds and Veggie Monsters” event, and McKeown’s Books’ “Evening of Difficult Music”.

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