This gritty police drama shows us the underbelly of the Parisian drug trade. Lulu is a tough streetwise narcotics cop who, like a Frank Serpico or a Dirty Harry Callahan, doesn't play by ... See full summary »
The two directors meander through rural Mississippi in search of the spirit of local music and society. Highlights the heritage of William Faulkner, the role of Black churches, and gospel and blues music.
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 »
Daniel is schoolmaster of a kindergarten in a small French town. The local economy, which depended entirely on coal production, has been mired in a depression ever since the mines were ... 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 his family, and hanging on by a thread in the 1950's New York jazz world. Dale gets an offer to play in Paris, where, like many other black American musicians at the time, he enjoys a respect for his humanity that is not based upon the color of his skin. A Parisian man who is obsessed with Turner's music befriends him and attempts to save Turner from himself. Although for Dale the damage is already done, his poignant relationship with the man and his young daughter re-kindles his spirit and his music as the end draws near. Written by
The character of Francis Borler is based on Francis Paudras, who died in 1997. The character of Dale Turner is a combination of real-life jazzmen Bud Powell and Lester Young. The real-life friendship between Paudras and Bud Powell has been the subject of several books. See more »
In the closing credits, the character "Ace", who's always cooking his Louisiana cuisine, is listed as Bobby Hutcherson. In fact, Ace is played by Billy Higgins, who was the drummer at the Blue Note. See more »
[Francis puts on a record]
Francis, who is that playing?
Who is playing? It's you. You just made a record.
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The Joy of Life in the Miracle of Creating/ Performing Music
This movie is about an aging, venerable jazz musician and composer, but it could be about any artist, particularly a musician, be he a classical, country western or blues artist. But the real star of the movie is the performing of the music--how it makes ineffable beauty, brings people together, touches the individual soul, creates love. The story shows how jazz and, in particular, this jazz musician (a composite of real jazz musicians and composers) inspires a young Frenchman whose life has been changed by this jazz artist's music. The plot is simple and transparent, but digs deep into the soul of a viewer who yields himself up to the movie, whether he likes jazz or not. I highly recommend this movie that shows the ups and downs of life in several aspects, but is really a tribute not merely to jazz musicians, but actually to the beauty of life that is found in personal experience and, more importantly, in inspiring works of art. The director Bertrand Tavernier is French and has made many movies, on a wide variety of subjects. This film is almost all in English, but his French films are well worth watching, even if you have issues with subtitles. This film made me cry and other of his films have similarly moved me. I hope readers will see this film and perhaps venture to watch some other films by director Tavernier. "A thing of beauty is a joy forever."
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