Interview with Jason Holliday aka Aaron Payne, house boy, would be cabaret performer, and self proclaimed hustler giving one man's gin-soaked pill-popped, view of what it was like to be ... See full summary »
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 »
A mother (Marsha Hunt) wants her son (William Prince) to grow up to be a pianist good enough to play at Carnegie Hall but, when grown, the son prefers to play with Vaughan Monroe's ... See full summary »
Gangster's moll Honey Swanson goes into hiding when her boyfriend is under investigation by the police. Where better to hide than a musical research institute staffed entirely by lonely ... See full summary »
Filmmaker Shirley Clarke ("The Connection") directs this powerful, stark semi-documentary look at the horrors of Harlem ghetto slum life filled with drugs, violence, human misery, and a ... See full summary »
The acclaimed poet is examined in this film completed just prior to his death at age 88, with his speaking engagements at Amherst and Sarah Lawrence Colleges intercut with studies of his ... See full summary »
John F. Kennedy,
Eight drug addicts are waiting for their connection in a New York apartment belonging to Leach. Jim Dunn, a budding filmmaker, has agreed to pay for the fix if the addicts will allow him to film the connection scene. After the men get their shots, they talk Dunn into trying heroin in order to understand the subject "first hand." He becomes ill and while sleeping, Leach takes an overdose that puts him into a coma. Dunn recovers, with the aid of the connection, and writes off the film as a failure. Written by
Staged, grungy, bleak, experimental, and despite it all quite entertaining.
A remarkably tense and anxious little film about a group of junky musicians "waiting for their man" in a New York flophouse loft. They're joined by a documentary film crew (just a director and a cameraman) whose goal seems to be some sort of cinéma vérité about the life of junky musicians who wait in flophouse lofts.
After a few introductions, and comical "act natural" type instructions from the documentary director, the characters take turns addressing the camera. They nervously rant, philosophize, and insult each other, interrupted occasionally by improvised jazz from several legitimate musicians in the cast (most notably pianist Freddie Redd and tenor sax player Jackie McLean). The anxiety they feel as they wait for their fix is brilliantly conveyed by both the actors and the director (this time I mean the real director, Shirley Clarke, not the actor portraying the documentary director, got it?)
Much of this conveyed anxiety comes from the fact that the film is a strange and slightly unsettling mix of stark realism and stage acting (it is a filmed version of a play from the New York theater scene of the day). This is an unusual film and it honestly takes some getting used to, though probably less now taking into account the glut of nauseatingly self-conscious "mockumentaries" and hyper-stylized "reality shows" we are plagued with today.
The Connection is something different, matching edgy subject matter with edgy film-making the producers were working very much without a net. Consequently some might think it ends in disaster, I think it's a highly interesting experiment that's well worth watching.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?