The LSU Press and the LSU Libraries invite you to a free showing of Fonville Winans’ rare silent film, “Cruise of the Pintail,” shot in Louisiana, 1932-1934. The showing, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 2, in the Hill Memorial Library Lecture Hall, celebrates the publication of Cruise of the Pintail: A Journal by the LSU Press. Copies of the book will be available for sale and the journal’s editors, Robert L. Winans and James R. Turner, will be on hand to autograph.
Featuring diary entries and more than one hundred images selected by Fonville’s son, Robert L. Winans, Cruise of the Pintail is the latest addition to the LSU Press’s Hill Collection series, which includes books based in part on the holdings of the LSU Libraries’ Special Collections.
The journal recounts Fonville’s experiences when he left his home in Fort Worth in 1932 and set out with two friends to seek adventure and fortune aboard a leaking rudderless sailboat, the Pintail, on the untamed waterways of Louisiana. Along the way, he shot footage for a movie that he was sure would make them rich and famous, revealing the remote coastal landscapes and curious inhabitants of Louisiana’s southern-most reaches.
In 2003, Fonville’s heirs generously donated a copy of the original film to the LSU Libraries. The Libraries had it conserved and digitized for viewing and preservation purposes. Lasting 26 minutes, Winans’ film provides viewers with a tour of a Louisiana that seems familiar and yet has mostly vanished, from New Orleans’ markets and courtyards to moss picking and the Grand Terre Island lighthouse. The event is free; donations for the Libraries’ film preservation program will be welcomed.