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 »
Two people stand on a road, out of focus. Seen distorted through a glass, they retire upstairs to a bedroom where she undresses. He says, "Adieu." Images: the beautiful girl, a starfish in ... See full summary »
Kiki of Montparnasse,
André de la Rivière,
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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