News

Robert Altman And Dennis Hopper To Become Subjects Of New Documentaries

With a career that dates back in the 1950s, Robert Altman started out making industrials and working in television before switching to features in 1970 with "Mash," a film that kicked off a decade where the director flirted with perfection, with classics like "McCabe & Mrs. Miller," "The Long Goodbye," and "Nashville." The 1980's wouldn't be as kind after Altman started the decade with the musical "Popeye," but he would eventually bounce back commercially with 1992's "The Player" and 1993's "Short Cuts" before receiving his fifth Academy Award nomination for directing with 2001's "Gosford Park." The director's career career ended with Altman's death in 2006, and documentarian Ron Mann ("Comic Book Confidential") is planning to examine his career in the upcoming Epix Original Documentary "Altman."

"Altman defined cinema for me — he had an extraordinarily rollicking career," Mann told Variety. The Canadian director is planning to start shooting the doc in the fall, but
See full article at The Playlist »

Nyfa's Consulting Program for Filmmakers

Matthew Seig informs of a helpful new program for New York Filmmakers. Don't miss out on it! Filmmakers can have a tough time finding professional guidance on new work or works-in-progress. The critiques they attract before reaching their audience are usually limited to acceptance or rejection letters, perhaps accompanied by a few brief comments. Filmmakers’ written material, social-media and distribution strategies, and sometimes the films themselves, are often created single-handedly by the artists and could be improved with a little professional advice. For those who can be in New York on November 10, New York Foundation for the Arts has…
See full article at Hope for Film »

Nyfa's Consulting Program for Filmmakers

Matthew Seig informs of a helpful new program for New York Filmmakers. Don't miss out on it! Filmmakers can have a tough time finding professional guidance on new work or works-in-progress. The critiques they attract before reaching their audience are usually limited to acceptance or rejection letters, perhaps accompanied by a few brief comments. Filmmakers’ written material, social-media and distribution strategies, and sometimes the films themselves, are often created single-handedly by the artists and could be improved with a little professional advice. For those who can be in New York on November 10, New York Foundation for the Arts has developed a unique consulting...
See full article at Hope for Film »

'A Great Day in Harlem'

World premiering at the Playboy Jazz Film Festival and opening Friday at Laemmle's Monica, Jean Bach's excellent documentary illuminates the history and lasting legacy of a "magic moment" in 1958 -- when "Esquire"'s Art Kane photographed 60 of jazz music's "big dogs" one summer morning in Harlem.

A treat for jazz aficionados and a dandy historical jam session for the curious, "A Great Day in Harlem" combines recent interviews with those subjects in the photo still alive, liberal use of the famous black-and-white still and others taken by Kane that day, home movie footage shot by Mona and Milt Hinton, and great film clips of performances to support the verbal storytelling.

Starting with Kane's account of how the photograph came about, with support from then-Esquire art director Robert Benton, Bach weaves together the memories of the late Dizzy Gillespie plus Sonny Rollins, Art Farmer and many others -- including Taft Jordan Jr., one of the now-grown boys seated on the curb with Count Basie -- and thoroughly recounts the events of the "Great Day".

Amazingly, it was Kane's first pro gig as a photog and the early-morning session resembled a social gathering until everything came together just right. Controlling the group was "near impossible" and Kane used a rolled-up newspaper as a megaphone. His assistant did not even know how to load film.

But the moment is undeniably powerful, as the group stands on the steps of a 125th Street tenement and sidewalk with locals looking on. The mood seems casual and the composition unpretentious, evoking but not overstating the subjects' "hard life surrendered to art."

Bach and co-writers Susan Peehl and Matthew Seig wisely follow the leads of their talkative subjects. Stories about those in the photo no longer among the living are both laudatory and personal.

The soundtrack is heavenly and supports Art Blakey's conclusion that these jazz greats were "literary figures," using drums, trombones, trumpets and saxophones to imaginatively capture the experience of living.

A GREAT DAY IN HARLEM

A Jean Bach Production

Flo-Bert Ltd.

New York Foundation for the Arts

Producer Jean Bach

Co-producer Matthew Seig

Writers Jean Bach, Susan Peehl, Matthew Seig

Director of photography Steve Petropoulos

Editor Susan Peehl

Narrator Quincy Jones

With Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Art Farmer, Marian McPartland, Mona Hinton, Robert Benton, Horace Silver, Art Blakey

Color/Stereo

Running time -- 60 minutes

No MPAA Rating

(c) The Hollywood Reporter

See also

Credited With | External Sites