Saxophone player Charlie "Bird" Parker (Forest Whitaker) comes to New York City in 1940. He is quickly noticed for his remarkable way of playing. He becomes a drug addict, but his loving wife Chan (Diane Venora) tries to help him.
At the Jewish wedding, the first shot of the orchestra shows both horns playing, but only the trumpet is heard. The saxophone joins later on. See more »
Here we are. Brothers. I'm a reformer, you trying to be a martyr. They always remember the martyrs longer. They gonna talk about you when you're dead, Bird. More than they do now. They gonna shovel you under like they love to do. They gonna talk about you. My secret. My secret is, if they kill me - it won't be because I helped them.
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Pre-titles card: "There are no second acts in American lives." - F. Scott Fitzgerald See more »
I feel as though the film did not do justice to the musically phenomenal life "Bird" went through. He was one of the most influential Jazz musicians crating an entire style of music. Which i felt was not portrayed fully. As one of the comments i've heard before stated "it seemed they had a choice between Charlie Parker as a musical genius or Charlie Parker as a junkie and they chose junkie."
I felt as though the musicians playing the bird solo's did a bad job reflecting his "sound." As in Charlie Parker had a sound that filled up an entire room with complicated be-bop phrasings and with a blues background. While the musicians just had him playing fast notes most of the time which was sometimes difficult to hear over back ground noise, very "unbird like".
However i did enjoy moments of the film, that showed even Charlie Parker had to play some weird gigs.
My last point is that it felt as though Chan Parker was portrayed as a stable part of bird's life, and was one of the central idea's of the film. As in the love story between him and his wife, with a love hate relationship. Which i think could have been less focused on and centralized more around Charlie Parkers music.
i do understand that Chan actually helped the script writer to write the film so it may have been a somewhat biased perspective.
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