A documentary by Julia E. Evans
“Save our corner stores!,” a neighbor shouts on the corner of Dryades and Second. New Orleans is a city built around its corner stores. Yet, the city’s corner stores are disappearing.
Corner Stores is a showcase of New Orleans’ idiosyncratic, community-oriented culture. “Neighborhood folks come, people passing through…” Oliver Coleman narrates from the corner of Calliope and Simon Bolivar. Each of the corner stores has it specific character and history. In many ways, this character reflects the cultural diversity of New Orleans. These differences are part of the ethnographic component of this project. The web series will focus on sensory experiences as well as personal histories to highlight each store’s individual character. Meditative audio and video footage (also referred to as en cinéma vérité footage) of corner stores scenes augment the project’s narrative, immersing the viewer in the experience of being at a New Orleans corner store. The footage explores the dozens of moods, rhythms, exchanges that take place “at a store at the corner of two streets.” The corner store is a rich tradition in New Orleans. Corner stores are the sites for culinary innovation, down home cooking, and neighborhood gatherings, and their progressive loss is changing every neighborhood. This project is an offshoot of New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC) Fall 2015 filmmaker workshop: Introduction to Documentary Film Production.