By Invitation Only

Last night E & I went to the showing of By Invitation Only at Loyola. If you’re not familiar with the film, Rebecca Snedeker made it with Tim Watson. She is a member of one of those old-school big-money families in New Orleans, and she decided that she didn’t want to come out, debut, whatever.

In the movie, she follows a cousin through the process (scepter and curtsy coach, 5 parties/day, mysterious old guys kissing you congratulations, etc), and, because she grew up in school with these folks, they trust her and allow her to film some stuff an interview some of them. Many of the faces are blurred if they didn’t give permission or if their membership is supposed to be a secret.

I have a strange fascination (not admiration or envy, but fascination) with this kind of super-rich person.  The film gives a pretty rare look at those circles and their functions, as well as some nifty historical footage.  I also enjoyed the footage of the city council debates the decision to require diversification.

I was worried that the movie would make me feel guilty about enjoying Mardi Gras, but it doesn’t, mainly because most of what these people do isn’t MG.  Snedeker risked the wrath of her family and friends in exposing much of this, but the film doesn’t really play like an expose, more like a rationale for why she wanted no part of the scene.

Required viewing for anyone interested in the history of the city.

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