Milo is a railroad brakeman, his wife a painter. They have some poet friends who spend a good bit of time hanging out at their apartment. When Milo and his wife are visited by their bishop,... See full summary »
A grinning monkey sitting in a tree dangles a lit firecracker from a fishing pole just over the head of an unwary turtle. Realizing that an explosion is pending, the turtle ducks and takes ... See full summary »
Leo M. Langlois III,
Ray J. Mauer,
Atomic tests at the Nevada Proving Grounds (later the Nevada Test Site) show effects on well-kept homes, homes filled with trash and combustibles, and homes painted with reflective white ... See full summary »
In July 1956, the five-member Barstow family of Wethersfield, Connecticut, won a free trip to newly-opened Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in a nationwide contest. This 30-minute amateur... 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,
Silly politics but great footage and a fascinating style
"Cry of Jazz" has silly politics but great footage and a fascinating style. This experimental short is one of the first examples of radical black film-making that would become popular later on with Charles Burnett and later Spike Lee. The short claims that jazz music can only be ably made by Blacks because of their suffering and any jazz from Whites is a pale imitation. While the Blacks did invent Jazz, its a form of musical composition that can just as ably be done by White people.
That being said, I was never one to let a films politics or social message interfere with my appreciation of its style. This is one well-made short that is fascinating throughout. The style is very minimalist and avant-garde but accessible all the same. The editing is fine and the sequencing is great. Plus, it has rare footage of the great Sun Ra. This is before he became really out there but fans such as myself will still find it delightful. "Cry of Jazz" is a must-see for fans of Jazz or experimental cinema. (8/10)
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