Maybe you remember the movie Angel Heart from when it released in 1987. I didn’t see it in the theater. I saw it a few years later on VHS. I was probably 25 when I saw it and I remember thinking it was okay. I haven’t seen it since. I suspect that now that the numbers in my age have swapped places, I will think a bit less of the film. You can try to follow your Angel Heart in New Orleans, but, like many things about our fair city depicted in films and in guidebooks, the details are either exaggerated or wide off the mark. (See the recently released Girls Trip.) You won’t find any Angel Heart in New Orleans, I’m sorry to say—-or, really, I’m not sorry at all. I’m just saying it.
In case you don’t remember, the film stars Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, and Lisa Bonet. De Niro plays the cleverly named Louis Cypher (his friends call him Lou if you can’t get the pun). Lisa Bonet plays a character called Epiphany Proudfoot, which is an approximation of what could have been a genuinely fabulous New Orleans name along the lines of Cosimo Matassa or Ernie K-Doe or Lafcadio Hearn.
Wanna know another fabulous New Orleans name? Look no further, mes amis:
The plot of Angel Heart revolves around a number of grisly occult-related murders in New Orleans. Remember, voodoo is alive and well in New Orleans. It isn’t like you see in the movies though. People practice voodoo in New Orleans the way they speak French in New Orleans: sparingly, if at all. During your visit, I doubt you’ll find any genuine trace of either.
I’m not saying no one gets murdered in New Orleans. They just don’t usually get murdered like they do in Angel Heart in New Orleans. Maybe once a century, not a couple times a week. Ebert gave the movie a thumbs up. Siskel gave it a thumbs down. I couldn’t find their review of Angel Heart, but I did find their review of Benji The Hunted.
I always liked Gene Siskel. I liked Roger Ebert, too, for that matter. I didn’t like Benji the Hunted, or any other Benji movie for that matter (and I’ve seen them all!).
Now that I live here, I’m not a fan of how New Orleans is depicted in films. If you come to New Orleans with preconceived notions of this marvelous city received from popular culture, you will find New Orleans much more friendly and much more enchanting in the best ways. New Orleans will be better than what you expect.
Now here is a movie about the real New Orleans that has nothing to do with voodoo:
Alright, I’ve rambled on enough for one day. It’s time to wrap this up.
If you want to find your Angel Heart in New Orleans, there are plenty of ghost and voodoo tours in the French Quarter that will tell you gruesome stories. There are other kinds of angel hearts in New Orleans. There are angels dwelling everywhere in New Orleans’ densely woven details. Open your eyes. Open your own heart. New Orleans is here for you to enjoy.
If you want to find out what it’s like to live in this wonderful city we call home, there is one place to stay: La Belle Esplanade. You’re on the right website. What are you waiting for? Frau Schmitt and I are ready to welcome you to our neighborhood and our world. Click the blue “Check Availability” button at the top of this page to make a reservation at our boutique experience inn.
À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
…where every morning starts with a curated breakfast salon of local delicacies and good conversations about all things New Orleans.
Wednesday, November 6, 2017: The sky was gloomy today but everyone I ran into had a sunny disposition. That’s the real New Orleans way.