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Cinematheque to present jazz film series

May 10
June 21 2014

Where George Gund Building, Aitken Auditorium

Cinematheque to present jazz film series
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A jazz film series will unspool in May and June at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque.

The “Double-C JazzFilmFest” (“Double C” for Cleveland Cinematheque) runs from May 10 through June 21 and consists of nine classic jazz movies. Included are celebrated dramas and documentaries by such big names as Otto Preminger, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Bert Stern, and Shirley Clarke. Movie stars like James Stewart and Forest Whitaker will be seen impersonating famous musicians, and other actors (Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, Robert De Niro, Liza Minnelli, et al.) will play fictional ones. Real-life jazz legends (Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Gene Krupa, Gerry Mulligan, et al.) will also turn up on screen.

“This is the first major jazz film series that we have presented in our 28-year history,” said Cinematheque Director John Ewing. “When you consider that jazz and the cinema grew up together, and that there has been much overlap between the two art forms, our neglect has been pretty egregious. This year’s 35th anniversary of the Tri-C JazzFest afforded us a perfect opportunity to rectify our wrong. So we will show jazz movies during the seven weekends leading up to this year’s JazzFest, June 26-28 at Playhouse Square. We are dedicating the series to the memory of Bobby Jackson, longtime host of WCPN’s ‘Jazz Tracks’ and an early supporter of the Cinematheque.”

All films will show in the Aitken Auditorium of the Cleveland Institute of Art, 11141 East Boulevard in University Circle, telephone (216) 421-7450, Admission to each program is $9; Cinematheque members $7; age 25 & under $6. A second film on the same day costs an additional $6. Free parking for filmgoers is available in the adjacent CIA lot. Some films will be preceded by live music coordinated by Terri Pontremoli of the Tri-C JazzFest.

For further information, call John Ewing or Tim Harry at (216) 421-7450 or email Cinematheque programs are supported by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and the Ohio Arts Council.

Film Schedule

Saturday, May 10, at 6:50pm
Restored 35mm Archive Print!
USA, 1955, Otto Preminger
Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak star in Otto Preminger's jazz-infused drama, about a drummer and ex-addict who licks his heroin habit in prison but struggles to stay clean on the outside. The movie’s focus on drug addiction (a taboo subject in 1955) caused the film to be denied a seal of approval by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Music by Elmer Bernstein. 119 min. Restored by the Academy Film Archive with funding from the Film Foundation and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Special thanks to Vicky Preminger and Cassie Blake.

Saturday, May 10, at 9:10pm &
Sunday, May 11, at 3:15pm
USA, 1977, Martin Scorsese
Robert De Niro and Liza Minnelli star in Martin Scorsese's stylish salute to classic Hollywood musicals, made between Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. This underrated epic charts the relationship between a frustrated sax player and a brassy singer as their fortunes change during the post-WWII big band era. We will show the restored version that includes the complete Kander & Ebb song "Happy Endings." "[A] masterly romantic drama." -Jazz in the Movies. 35mm. 163 min.

Saturday, May 17, at 5:15pm &
Sunday, May 18, at 4:30pm
USA, 1994, Jean Bach
This Oscar-nominated documentary tells the story behind Art Kane's famous group photograph that the film is named after. That picture, shot in front of a Harlem brownstone on 8/12/58, captured 57 jazz greats including Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Marian McPartland, Art Blakey, Charles Mingus, and Thelonious Monk. Quincy Jones narrates the film, which features interviews, home movies, and vintage performances. DVD. 60 min.

Saturday, May 17, at 6:45pm
USA, 1988, Clint Eastwood
Forest Whitaker plays Charlie Parker, the innovative saxophonist and bebop pioneer who battled heroin addiction during his short life, in Clint Eastwood's heartfelt portrait, one of the great jazz movies. 35mm. 161 min.

Friday, May 23, at 5:15pm &
Saturday, May 24, at 5:00pm
USA, 1954, Anthony Mann
James Stewart plays the legendary bandleader in this colorful biopic with lots of terrific musical numbers (e.g., Louis Armstrong and Gene Krupa play "Basin Street Blues"). This was the first non-Western collaboration between Stewart and director Anthony Mann; they made it between The Naked Spur and The Far Country, both of which we showed in 2011. June Allyson co-stars—the second of three times she played Stewart’s wife on screen. 35mm color print from the Universal Pictures studio archive! 116 min.

Friday, May 30, at 9:20pm &
Saturday, May 31, at 5:00pm
USA, 1959, Bert Stern
Celebrated commercial photographer Bert Stern shot this classic record of the 1958 Newport (Rhode Island) Jazz Festival. The movie, “a must for jazz aficionados” (Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide), features thrilling performances by Thelonious Monk, Louis Armstrong, Sonny Stitt, Anita O'Day, Gerry Mulligan, Chuck Berry, Jack Teagarden, and Mahalia Jackson, among many others. “Often hailed as one of the first and most influential of live concert films…A dazzling array of jazz and rock ‘n’ roll giants.” –Time Out Film Guide. 35mm. 85 min.

Friday, June 6, at 5:15pm &
Saturday, June 7, at 5:00pm
USA, 1956-70, John and Faith Hubley
John Hubley (1914-1977) was an important American animator who worked at Disney during the 1930s and 1940s but later joined United Productions of America, where he created Mr. Magoo and helped pioneer UPA’s more contemporary and design-y style of “limited animation.” After running afoul of the House Committee for Un-American Activities in the early 1950s, he left UPA and founded his own independent animation company with his wife and fellow artist, Faith. There he won three Academy Awards for Best Animated Short Subject. The eight films we will show in this compilation all come from that period of his career. All will be shown in restored 35mm color prints and most have memorable jazz scores (by Lionel Hampton, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, et al.). Program includes Adventures of an * (1957); The Tender Game (1958); the Oscar-winning Moonbird (1959); The Hat (1964); Urbanissimo (1967); Windy Day (1968); Of Men and Demons (1969); and Eggs (1971). Cleveland revival premiere. Total running time 80 min.

Friday, June 13, at 7:15pm &
Saturday, June 14, at 9:00pm
New 35mm Restoration!
USA, 1961, Shirley Clarke
Shirley Clarke's boundary-shattering Beat-era classic, based on an off-Broadway play by Jack Gelber, focuses on eight junkies—some of whom play jazz as they wait for their fix in a NYC loft apartment. A preppy young filmmaker (William Redfield) agrees to pay for the drugs if they will let him film the "connection." This taboo-breaking indie movie was initially banned in New York until the state's supreme court OK’ed its release. Has a 92% "fresh" rating on Cleveland revival premiere. 110 min. Preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding by the Film Foundation.

Thursday, June 19, at 5:45pm &
Saturday, June 21, at 9:25pm
USA, 1961, Martin Ritt
Never released on DVD or Blu-ray in the U.S., this jazz film classic (with a Duke Ellington score) stars Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier as American musicians in Left Bank Paris who fall for tourists Joanne Woodward and Diahann Carroll. With Louis Armstrong. 35mm. 98 min.

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George Gund Building
Aitken Auditorium
11141 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106

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