In conjunction with the 2014 Melbourne International Jazz Festival, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) presents Jazz on Film from Saturday 31 May to Saturday 7 June 2014. A colourful showcase of jazz artists on film features three documentaries – The Pleasures of Being Out of Step, Charles Lloyd: Arrows Into Infinity and Bayou Maharajah, as well as one feature – The Man with the Golden Arm.

Opening the season is a candid documentary of legendary jazz writer and civil libertarian, Nat Hentoff in The Pleasures of Being Out of Step. Boasting a 65-year career, Hentoff was a courageous free rights activist who transformed the landscape of critical writing during a period of major cultural and political change. Redefining album sleeve notes, Hentoff’s musings added invaluable context for the jazz recordings of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Charles Mingus. This documentary features a series of interviews with Hentoff and a soundtrack hailing the likes of Bob Dylan, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Charles Mingus.

Saxophonist Charles’s Lloyd’s remarkable and varied music career is chronicled in Charles Lloyd: Arrows Into Infinity. Moving from the hippie culture of the ‘60s to the liberation movement of the 70s, Lloyd’s career transcended generational gaps and race lines to create some of jazz’s most influential works, including Forest Flowers and Moon Man. His eccentric career is captured in this enlightening documentary, which features extensive interviews with Lloyd that shine a light on this unique artist.

James Booker has been called many things throughout his vibrant career – Black Liberace, the Ivory Emperor, the Piano Prince and Juanita (his drag name). Despite this, Booker was undeniably a jazz and blues piano genius. Heralded by Bon Iver and Harry Connick Jr, Booker battled bigotry and his own personal demons to produce unforgettable jazz. Though a rampant heroin addict, Booker still managed to create dynamic music, which he performed with some of music’s greatest legends, including Aretha Franklin and Jerry Garcia. Bayou Maharajah is a spirited documentary that features rare, intimate and often humorous footage of this piano maestro.

The Man with the Golden Arm Poster

Elmer Bernstein’s sizzling jazz score and Frank Sinatra’s Oscar-nominated performance create sweet music in The Man with the Golden Arm. Sinatra plays Frankie, an ex-junkie and ex-prisoner looking for a clean break. Renowned filmmaker, Otto Preminger challenged censors with his stark portrayal of heroin use. Sinatra campaigned vehemently for the role, which he won over Marlon Brando. The film is also recognised for Bernstein’s jazz score, which is beautifully complemented by Sam Leavitt’s luminous cinematography and Saul Bass’s iconic title sequence.

Actor and Sinatra interpreter Robert Davi introduces this screening and a Q&A will follow after the film, hosted by Paul Harris, from RRR’s Filmbuff’s Forecast.

“This year’s Jazz on Film program celebrates a colourful spectrum of jazz artists who have forged their own journeys to music nirvana,” said Film Programmer, Spiro Economopoulos. “From a saxophonist searching for enlightenment in Charles Lloyd: Arrows Into Infinity, to a one-eyed New Orleans piano prince in Bayou Maharajah, and Sinatra’s strung-out jazz drummer in The Man with the Golden Arm, these films chronicle the spiritual and musical journeys of some of jazz’s most eccentric, though seminal artists,” added Economopoulos.

Jazz on Film screens at ACMI from Saturday 31 May to Saturday 7 June 2014 as part of this year’s Melbourne International Jazz Festival. For more information, visit acmi.net.au.

Program Session Times

The Pleasures of Being Out of Step (U18+) Sat 31 May 5pm Australian Premiere, Sat 7 Jun 7:30pm

Charles Lloyd: Arrows Into Infinity (U18+) Sat 31 May 7pm Australian Premiere

Bayou Maharajah (U18+) Sun 1 Jun 7:30pm

The Man with the Golden Arm (M) Fri 6 Jun 6:30pm

Film details

The Pleasures of Being Out of Step U18+ Dir. David L. Lewis, 87mins, USA, 2013, DCP. Source & Courtesy: First Run Features.

Charles Lloyd: Arrows Into Infinity U18+ Dir. Dorothy Darr, Jeffery Morse, 113mins, USA, 2012, DCP. Source & Courtesy: Forest Farm Films.

Bayou Maharajah U18+ Dir. Lily Keber, 90mins, USA, 2013, DCP. Source & Courtesy: Mairzy Doats Productions.

The Man with the Golden Arm M Dir. Otto Preminger, 119mins, USA, 1955, 35mm. Source: Restored by the Academy Film Archive with funding from the Film Foundation and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Courtesy: Hollywood Classics.

For his Movies At Dusk program on 3WBC 94.1FM, Greg spoke to ACMI programmer Spiro Economopoulos to find out a bit more about the Jazz On Film season.

to hear the interview, click on the link below:




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