Ornette: Made in America
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Subtitled “A Musical Journey,” this is a portrait of jazz innovator Ornette Coleman. While it includes footage dating from 1968 up to 1983—of Ornette performing in Morocco and Nigeria, in Berkeley (“Sun Suite of San Francisco”) and in his hometown, Fort Worth, on Coleman Day (“Skies of America”)—it is not a traditional biography of a musician. Rather, Coleman’s ideas on music, artistic creation, and life are kaleidoscoped with a fanciful evocation of the times in which he lived, from the Depression era to the space age. Leaping, as one reviewer put it, “randomly through time and space,” from Coleman in conversation with his son, to comments from Buckminster Fuller, Viva, and William Burroughs, to a re-creation of his childhood; and using 35mm, 16mm and video, Clarke fashions her cross-disciplinary collaboration. Ultimately, the film is a portrait of the creative process of two legends.
Shirley Clarke, United States, 1958
A cinematic choreography for New York’s bridges plays twice, with two different soundtracks, one by Louis and Bebe Barron and one by Ted Macero. Clarke said her film “looks at bridges as they affect you when you cross them, which gives them movement and design like flying in space. The film is both beautiful and scary.”