Last week, I went on a swamp tour in Louisiana (specifically the Cajun Encounters tour of Honey Island Swamp), and midway through the boat ride, our guide, Patrick Nolan (yeah, the same one featured on Live with Regis and Kelly), gave a little talk about Hollywood's portrayal of swamps. He pointed out that there are no mosquitoes and there is no awful stench. I guess I haven't seen too many swamp-set films, because I wasn't aware that those were common stereotypes. But for someone born on the bayou, like Nolan, it only takes a few inaccurate representations to be irksome.

All of us, of course, have seen similarly annoying stereotypes and inaccuracies on the big screen. Whether they're about our race, religion, residence, etc., incorrect depictions of our kind and/or our habitat can be one of the most bothersome things that Hollywood does. Being from Connecticut, I always hate that movies portray the entire state as being filled with nothing but luxurious yet rural weekend homes (I always think of the setting of Bringing Up Baby). It's no wonder people always assume I have money, despite the fact that Connecticut has some of the poorest people in the nation balancing all those extremely wealthy people (I fell in the middle growing up). I also get frustrated with Hollywood's depictions of my current home, Brooklyn (I can only hope The Real World Brooklyn gives the borough a new kind of generalized perception), and Alabama, where much of my family is from and still lives (hooray for Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bayfor at least playing around with the stereotypes).
categories Cinematical