Somber Reflections

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

It was five years ago today that I got the terrible news that Helen Hill had been murdered in her home. She will not be forgotten. A few months ago I had the decidedly bittersweet pleasure of viewing Helen’s final film, The Florestine Collection, which was completed by her husband Paul Gailiunas. A true labor […]


Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Once again we interrupt our regularly scheduled investigations to draw your attention to a notable screening. The Florestine Collection Experimental animator Helen Hill found more than 100 handmade dresses in a trash pile on one Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans. She set out to make a film about the dressmaker, an elderly seamstress who […]

Not Forgotten

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

So I went down to Michael’s house last night to watch Treme. I fully expected to see a commemoration of Dinerral Shavers, and that is how the show began. The funeral scene was moving. Nakita Shavers, playing herself, gave a heartbreaking eulogy for her brother. I read that she had to do that scene four […]

Helen Hill Birthday Fundraiser

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Of course I will be hiking Saturday morning, and I encourage all to come with us, but there’s another event that deserves your attention. The aim is to raise the funds necessary to finish Helen Hill’s final film. The hike may preclude my attendance, but I’ll be showing a video there featuring Helen — the […]

Scratch and Crow

Monday, January 4th, 2010

I recently got word that Helen Hill’s film Scratch and Crow has been named to the National Film Registry. Each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 films to the registry that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant to be preserved for all time. These films are selected as works of enduring importance to American […]

A Gift from Helen

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

It was two years ago today that Helen‘s life came to an end, in circumstances too terrible to contemplate calmly. So we are spending a little time this morning remembering her life, and the light she brought to the lives of others. People often ask me if her killer was ever found. As far as […]

Gatherers of Light

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

I’m nearing the end of my project of excavating old images from the depths of my hard drive. There have been some interesting discoveries along the way. A few days ago, I found a set of photos I thought had been lost, from March 23rd, 2002. That’s when I made a road trip to Shreveport […]

We Still Miss You, Helen

Friday, January 4th, 2008

Today it’s been a year since Helen was killed, and like Cristin, I don’t know quite what to say. The superintendent of police was on TV last night saying that they had a suspect, but he couldn’t reveal anything more about the case. To be honest, my first thought was: He’s lying. It’s been a […]

Celebrating Helen on PBS

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Please take a moment to contact your local PBS affiliate and ask them to air the film Helen Hill: Celebrating a Life in Film. You can get further information about how to do this here.

48 Hours

Friday, October 12th, 2007

48 Hours Mystery will be running a show this weekend about Helen Hill and Dinerral Shavers and the general topic of violence in New Orleans. I spoke to the producers a couple of times. One producer told me he was disappointed by the seeming resignation of most of the people they’d interviewed. He was hoping […]


Friday, September 14th, 2007

There will be a segment about Helen Hill‘s unsolved murder case on America’s Most Wanted tomorrow night. I believe they’ll be using some video I shot of her jazz funeral. Also, Helen’s brother, Jake Hill, is in New Orleans to hold a meeting and press conference at the Sound Café (2700 Chartres) this afternoon (Sept. […]

Francis Pop Story Box

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Francis Pop’s third birthday is approaching. My friend Andrea Christie is putting together a special gift called the Francis Pop Story Box. So, if you have any special memories of Helen Hill you’d like to share with her son, please check it out.

House of Pain

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

This morning on the way to work I stopped by Paul & Helen’s house in Mid-City. I didn’t plan it that way, it just happened because I was on a different route running an errand. I took a few moments to take a few pictures and shed a few tears. click photo for set We […]

Story #17

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

I believe the story in today’s paper is the 17th installment that Stephanie Bruno has written about our renovation: DESPITE SETBACKS, MID-CITY RESIDENTS HAMMERING AWAY Saturday, March 10, 2007 By Stephanie Bruno Contributing writer NOTE: When we last visited Bart Everson and Christy Paxson, work on their Mid-City home was progressing sporadically, and the recent […]

A Dream

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

Yesterday some friends were discussing their dreams of departed relatives. I reflected that I haven’t remembered any of my dreams for a long time. Then, last night, I dreamed that I was at a gathering of some sort. I was talking to a woman about all the songs that had been written about Helen Hill: […]

Funeral for a Friend

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

This is New Orleans. This is how we live. This is how we die. Not everyone gets a jazz funeral. You have to be special. Yesterday’s mournful and joyous procession through the streets of the city was a testimony to an extraordinary woman, an extraordinary life. We will never forget Helen Hill. Helen’s funeral had […]

Don’t Forget

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Helen Hill had lots of friends here, and most of us couldn’t make it to her funeral in South Carolina. So I think tomorrow’s event is gonna be huge. There will be brass bands. There will be pig costumes. There will be vegan cupcakes. Ernie K-Doe’s hearse will be there. And check the cool poster. […]

In the Paper

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

I was heartened to read a positive story on the front of today’s paper about Dr. Jeff Wiese, who drove around the country for months after Katrina and pretty much saved the residency program at the Tulane School of Medicine. Now the residents are trying to fill in the gap left by the closure of […]

Jazz Funeral for Helen Hill

Friday, January 26th, 2007

This just in from Kittee: Hey, ya’ll! We’re gonna do Helen up right with a big old jazz funeral in New Orleans. Can you believe it? The procession starts at Paul and Helen’s old place at 3438 Cleveland St. on Saturday, February 24. The procession forms at 12:30 p.m. and rolls at 1:00 p.m. sharp. […]

Paul’s Plea

Friday, January 26th, 2007

I haven’t talked to Paul since he left New Orleans. I saw him only briefly in the lobby of the hotel by the airport, the night after Helen was killed. For the first time in my life I was literally at a loss for words. I just couldn’t think of a thing to say. So, […]