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 »
A young teenage girl desperately tries to earn enough money to buy a dress for a school rock and roll dance. This early rock and roll feature, the 3rd in a series of 5 staring Disc Jockey ... See full summary »
Alan Freed and his Rock 'n Roll Band,
Odd little Western that gets off to a snappy start when a man (Matt Dow) is mistaken as a train robber. After the town's sheriff shoots the kid he's riding with, Dow clears his name and ... See full summary »
A commander receives a citation for an attack on Rommel's headquarters, which is actually undeserved as the commander is unfit for his job. On top of that, unbeknownst to him, his wife is having an affair with one of his officers.
In 'Round Midnight, real-life jazz legend Dexter Gordon brilliantly portrays the fictional tenor sax player Dale Turner, a musician slowly losing the battle with alcoholism, estranged from ... See full summary »
Franck Poupart is a slightly neurotic door-to-door salesman in a sinister part of Paris' suburbs. He meets Mona, a teenager, who's been made a prostitute by her own aunt. Franck would like ... See full summary »
A chronological look at the life and career of jazz musician, composer, and performer Dave Brubeck (1920- ), presented through contemporary interviews, archival footage of interviews and ... 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
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.
21 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?