Today is the tenth Marche du Nain Rouge, as the Detroit Metro Times explains.
[T]he parade was formed by then-WSU law school students Francis Grunow and Joe Uhl in 2009, who wanted to create a Detroit-style take on the Mardis Gras tradition, noting how the festival took on a new meaning for New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They picked the Sunday after the vernal equinox as the date of the inaugural Marche, making it a springtime event and allowing some space on the calendar following Mardis Gras and St. Patrick's Day. Apparently plenty of other metro Detroiters wanted the same thing; the idea took off, and the event now draws a crowd of thousands, complete with elaborate floats, New Orleans-style marching bands, dancers, and more.That's the event. What about the Nain Rouge (Red Dwarf) itself?
The legend of the Nain Rouge is said to go back to 1701, when Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Detroit. The short version of the tale is that Cadillac was attacked by the feared "Red Dwarf," who then cursed Cadillac and the city. The truth is actually a bit more complicated, outlined in a 2016 Metro Times cover story.Both Metro Times articles discuss the folkloric origin of the Nain Rouge, a topic I covered before either in I converse with The Archdruid and his readers about Le Nain Rouge. Sorry, I can't help but claim some credit, although that really goes to the blogger at EsoterX, whose research I used.
The first printed reference to the Nain doesn't appear until Legends of Le Détroit by Marie Caroline Watson Hamlin, published in 1883 — some 180 years after Cadillac's alleged encounter. In Hamlin's version, a fortune teller tells Cadillac he will found a great city, but warns that if he continues to sell brandy to the Native American tribes — a lucrative business, but one contrary to the advice of the Jesuits — it would eventually lead to bloodshed, and spell ruin for him and his city. Cadillac is warned to "appease the Nain Rouge," or the "demon of the strait," should it ever appear. Later, while walking along the Detroit River, Cadillac encounters the Nain — which has gleaming eyes and sharp teeth. Cadillac ignores the fortune teller's advice, and whacks the creature with his cane — forever cursing Detroit.
I don't yet have any video of this year's event, but WDIV described last year's event in Marche Du Nain Rouge sweeps through Midtown Detroit.
The Detroit tradition involves some very elaborate costumes, to say the least.The Marche du Nain Rouge always has a political component, although it's usually about local politics and government, not national politics. However, MLive captured an exception as Costumed 'Donald Trump' rides float at Marche du Nain Rouge.
That float reminds me of a giant mechanical roach. Even I wouldn't make that comparison to Trump. As for the voice in the background, that's the parade's version of the Nain Rouge haranguing the crowd. He is such a jerk. Speaking of which, watch as Nain Rouge and his press secretary antagonize the crowd.
As I wrote, a jerk.
In addition to the parade, I have an update on last year's Nain Rouge movie for Marche du Nain Rouge 2018. Follow over the jump.
First, the producers of the movie released a trailer last August: Devil's Night: Dawn of the Nain Rouge.
The next month, Swifty McVay released a music video: Scariest Thing.
Directed and Produced By Sam Logan Khaleghi // Presented By Kyyba Films // Swifty McVay takes on MoTown with the mystical power of the Nain Rouge. The first music video from the original motion picture soundtrack of “Devil’s Night: Dawn of the Nain Rouge” // Co-Starring Nathan Kane Mathers.MLive's report accompanying the video included the following facts about the horror film.
The movie centers around a military veteran, played by actress Jesi Jensen, who, while working as a police officer, is assigned to a supernatural case that's surrounded by urban myth and legend. The film was shot all over Metro Detroit, including scenes at the old Packard Plant. Lake Orion is also prominently featured. The movie is currently in post-production by Eclipp with no release date set yet.There should be another music video for the film, as MLive also reported "McVay and Obie Trice are seeking extras for the music video for their song 'Phony,' also featured in the movie." I'm looking forward to seeing it, too.
The film also stars Mathers in his first role, alongside Ammar Nemo, Bobby Laenen and Grover McCants. Famous Bollywood actor Napoleon Duraisamy also has a big role in the movie. WJBK-TV's Amy Andrews is the mayor of Lake Orion and Lake Orion Police Chief Jerry Narsh plays a police officer. Portraying the Nain Rouge is martial artist Jesse Dean Crawfis.
"Devil's Night: Dawn of the Nain Rouge" was directed and co-authored by Emmy nominated producer Sam Logan Khaleghi. Executive producers are Tel Ganesan of Michigan based Kyyba Films and GB Thimotheose. Istvan Lettang is the cinematographer.
Finally, Khaleghi is aware of my blogging about his movie, as I wrote on my Dreamwidth journal last November.
Before Thanksgiving, I found out one of my students is an actress in the Nain Rouge movie, so I showed her the blog post I wrote about it. The day before yesterday, she asked to take a screenshot of the post to show the director. Of course, I said yes, so she did and texted it to the director. He saw it and responded "OMG, LOL, cute!" That made my evening.My former student is also supposed to be in the "Phony" music video, so I'll be looking for it, too. Here's to including it in next year's post about the Nain Rouge, if the movie isn't released sooner.