Set at the Newport jazz festival in 1958, this documentary mixes images of water and the town with performers and audience. The film progresses from day to night and from improvisational ... See full summary »
Art Kane, now deceased, coordinated a group photograph of all the top jazz musicians in NYC in the year 1958, for a piece in Esquire magazine. Just about every jazz musician at the time ... See full summary »
This Warner Bros. short is a jam session with several outstanding African-American jazz musicians, including Lester Young. Darkly lit and with a mood that matches the music, the film was ... See full summary »
George 'Red' Callender,
Documentary on the life of jazz trumpeter and drug addict Chet Baker. Fascinating series of interviews with friends, family, associates and lovers, interspersed with film from Baker's ... See full summary »
The world famous violinist Holger Brandt comes back to his family after a tour. He and his wife have been married for many years, but their love has gone. Their young daughter gets a new ... See full summary »
Young Kerstin Norbäck lives in a small town. She has a relationship with a sailor, but when she tries to leave him, he shoots her. She survives and begins a new life in Stockholm. There she... See full summary »
Aged penniless actors are living in a old people's home. They always talk about their past glory or failures. One day Raphael Saint-Clair comes; he has been a famous actor and had a lot of ... See full summary »
A dark comedy about a murder and its consequences presented in a backwards manner, where death is actually a rebirth. The film starts with an "execution" of the main protagonist and goes ... See full summary »
Set at the Newport jazz festival in 1958, this documentary mixes images of water and the town with performers and audience. The film progresses from day to night and from improvisational music to Gospel. It's a concert film that suggests peace and leisure, jazz at a particular time and place. Written by
Features one of the rare film appearances of two of the greatest jazz artists of all times: New Orleans-born trumpeter Louis Armstrong and Texas-born trombonist Jack Teagarden. When Armstrong formed his six-piece All Stars in 1946 Jack, who was white, was asked to join. The obvious affection these two great performers felt for each other's singing, clowning and playing is particularly evident in their classic performance of "Old Rocking Chair." After Armstrong was invited to return his home town after many years away, he insisted Teagarden join him on the stage. The city refused to let a white man and a Negro play together. Armstrong eventually returned to his native New Orleans, and performed at the very first New Orleans Jazz Festival. Coincidentally, along with Mahalia Jackson- his costar in this film. See more »
A hefty dose of nostalgia for the end of an era of jazz
Bert Stern captures the Newport Jazz festival of 1958 in vivid color and with clarity. While jazz is the primary focus of the film, Stern does meander to the America's Cup race that was being contested off Newport at the time, along with some diversionary local flavor, which gives us a sense of what it was like to actually be there. Continuing along this vein, during the festival itself, Stern spends much of his camera time observing the audience caught unaware reacting to jazz on a summer day; after all, live music does not exist in a vacuum. It's this footage along with the incredible jazz music that makes this documentary really special. As a viewer we get to react to the music, and react to the audience reacting to the music. That girl with the seductively cute smile in the yellow dress, and that gruff man hiding behind the shades with the nervous twitch are people that we can connect to from our own personal experiences at open air summer concerts. The feeling of community one gets as the music breaks down the barriers and the sun begins to set. Stern allows his moving compositions to develop and flesh out the character of his subjects, giving us a nostalgic feeling for a time gone by that may have occurred long before we were even born. It does not matter because we are there! But this particular slice of time has special significance, because jazz would soon be replaced in popularity by Rock & Roll. We watch it happen before our eyes as a young Chuck Berry takes the stage. Backed by some excellent jazz musicians, all looking "amused" but not taking very seriously the music that would knock them off the charts for good within a couple of years. As Berry's classic Rock & Roll riffs project across the audience, young people spontaneously jump to their feet and start moving to the rhythm while their parents watch, perplexed.
22 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?