Tuesday, 24 April 2012

ACMI presents Jazz On Film

Cadillac Records 2008 Amalgamated Pictures
Cadillac Records, 2008, Amalgamated Pictures

ACMI will present its week long film program Jazz On Film from Sunday 3 to Saturday 9 June 2012. Running as part of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival for the fourth consecutive year, the 2012 program focuses on two artists who found their inspiration in jazz: Terence Blanchard and Woody Allen.

Consisting of five films, this year's season brings forth works from Blanchard and Allen. Under Blanchard's umbrella are three films he scored, 25th Hour, Summer of Sam and the until now theatrically unreleased Cadillac Records. Creating an additional character of music within these films, Blanchard imparts the iconic emotion of jazz within the films. Allen's Sweet and Lowdown, and his infamous Bullets Over Broadway will be shown as an end to the season.

Beginning the season is 25th Hour directed by Spike Lee and starring Edward Norton as a convicted drug dealer and scored by Terence Blanchard. Tackling the fallout of 9/11 on the collective psyche of New York, Blanchard distinguishes himself with a lush, evocative score that is resonant of the films moods, sounds and images that nominated him for a Golden Globe.

Chronicling the journey of the recording studio Chess Records in breaking through race barriers and delivering black music to mainstream America, Cadillac Records is the perfect platform for Blanchard to recreate the vibrancy of this distinctly American genre; bringing the same urgency, sensuality and verve that the pioneering artists featured (including Chuck Berry and Etta James), created in this hallowed studio.

Composer Blanchard will be at the session of Cadillac Records and will introduce the film and participate in a Q&A following the screening, conducted by RRR's Film Buff's Forecast presenter, Paul Harris.

Blanchard captures the nervous energy in Summer of Sam, co-written by Michael Imperioli of Sopranos fame. His score appropriately highlights the themes within this historical drama set in 1977 during the heatwave and violent exploits of serial killer David Berkowitz, aka 'Son of Sam'.

Equally synonymous with jazz as Blanchard, Woody Allen has built a career integrating jazz and its themes into his films. Jazz's swing era sees Sean Penn play jazz musician and first class scoundrel Emmet Ray in Sweet and Lowdown. Bringing his usual comic verve to this bittersweet love story, this is one of Allen's most affecting films.

Turning the golden age of jazz on its head, Allen's gangster farce sees John Cusack as a struggling writer. Getting his opportunity to direct his latest play on Broadway, he finds the financial aspect of mob funded backing conflicting with his creative authority. Gangsters, jazz and award-winning performances easily make Bullets Over Broadway one of Allen's most loved films.

This year's Jazz On Film has been curated by ACMI Film Programmer Spiro Economopoulos whose choice of films cites jazz as being Allen's "soundtrack of choice for every romantic foible and sweeping panoramic shot of his beloved metropolis (New York)." Spiro describes Blanchard as ".infusing his work with the rhythm and beat of jazz, he fluctuates between scores that are both elegiac and bristle with an energy that vibrates right off the screen".

This year's season of Jazz On Film will screen at ACMI from 3 to 9 June 2012. Don't miss the opportunity to hear from Terence Blanchard at the post screening Q&A on Monday 4 June.

Running in conjunction to the Jazz On Film program is the Long Play season of Woody Allen: A Documentary which will screen from 1 to 18 June 2012.

Further information

Donna Hillier
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2475 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 655
[email] donna.hillier@acmi.net.au

 
 
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