Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Hepster Cinematic Notes From All Over

Sometimes, as I have taken to saying of late, despite the horrendous crisis we are currently all coping with, La Vie est Belle.

Case in point: the good folks at Kino Lorber are about to unleash a gorgeously restored version of pretty much the first great concert movie/music documentary -- photographer Bert Stern's groundbreaking cinematic study of the 1958 Newport Festival Jazz on a Summer's Day.

If you've never seen this, prepare to have your mind blown, if only for the Chuck Berry sequence which, as the story goes, the teenaged Keith Richards saw at his local cinema five days straight for obvious reasons. The film also features intimate performances by an all-star line-up of musical legends including Louis Armstrong, Thelonius Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Anita O'Day, Dinah Washington, and closes with a beautiful rendition of "The Lord's Prayer" by Mahalia Jackson.

This has previously been available on video elsewhere -- I saw it on my PBS station at some point if memory serves -- but this new Kino version is a 4K restoration by the preservationists at IndieCollect and looks and sounds fabulous.

Even better, it will be available in virtual cinemas through Kino Marquee starting August 12.

Seriously -- apart from the great music, the film is an absolutely jaw-dropping time capsule of American life in the years just prior to the tumult of the 60s. Don't miss it.


Anonymous said...

This was broadcast on TCM last month.

pete said...

If you've ever wanted to hear a clarinet solo in the middle of a Chuck Berry song this is the flick for you!