Cool World: Jazz and the Movies

1/12/08 to 2/6/08

In Hollywood, jazz signified the cool world, haunted by tortured artists blowing a new sound. The music in these films was sometimes ghosted by such greats as Harry James, Gene Krupa, and Charles McPherson; in some, the likes of Dave Brubeck, Louis Armstrong, Jackie McLean, and Charles Mingus cut loose for the camera. Jazz also allowed Hollywood to play it on the outside, looking in at risky issues like racism and illicit drugs. This ain't for squares, you dig?

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  • Too Late Blues, January 12

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Past Films

  • Paris Blues

    • Wednesday, February 6 6:30 pm

    A great Duke Ellington score, Louis Armstrong in fine form, and, oh yes, Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier in Paris. Dig it.

  • All Night Long

    • Wednesday, February 6 8:30 pm

    This jazz curio recasts Othello in a '60s London loft, where Mingus and Brubeck are just two of the players.

  • Young Man with a Horn

    • Thursday, January 31 8:50 pm

    Kirk Douglas, Hoagy Carmichael, moanin' low in a Hollywood rendering of Bix Beiderbecke's life. Trumpet solos ghosted by Harry James, Jimmy Zito. Also featuring Lauren Bacall, Doris Day.

  • The Connection

    • Sunday, January 27 6:15 pm

    Junkies waiting for a fix, rapping, jiving, blowing cool jazz in Shirley Clarke's great American independent film from 1961.

  • Sweet Love, Bitter

    • Thursday, January 24 8:40 pm

    A newly revived gem from the '60s based on the life of Charlie Parker, with radical black comedian Dick Gregory in the solo spot. Music by Mal Waldron and others.

  • The Gene Krupa Story

    • Sunday, January 20 7:00 pm

    The great drummer dubbed his own riffs in this biopic starring 19-year-old Sal Mineo, who never misses a beat.

  • The Man with the Golden Arm

    • Saturday, January 19 8:40 pm

    “Frank Sinatra's performance is pure gold” (Pauline Kael) in this breakthrough Hollywood film on dope addiction that jazz can't cure.

  • Beware

    • Saturday, January 12 6:30 pm

    An engaging vehicle for alto saxophonist and R&B singer Louis Jordan, set at an all-black college. “With the hot swing here, one can savor the students' temptations toward boogie-woogie.”-Scott Simmon

  • Too Late Blues

    • Saturday, January 12 8:10 pm

    John Cassavetes's too-lately appreciated drama starring Bobby Darrin, “capturing the argot-swift, hardboiled and sometimes poetic-of music-making hipsters without a cause.”-Albert Johnson. Music performed offscreen by Shelly Manne and others.