The year 2016 was a big one for movies about jazz, it seems. Before the release of La La Land (where Ryan Gosling saves jazz from Death By John Legend), Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead was released in the UK in June, followed closely in July by Born to be Blue. MostlyFilm’s Sarah Slade counts beats to the bar and claps the rhythm for both films
Sarah Slade watches Elvis’s granddaughter go through The Girlfriend Experience
Sarah Slade considers if Stormy Weather has weathered the storm.
There is a school of thought that maintains that musicals of the Hollywood Golden Age were at the forefront of social commentary. Look at Carousel, with its depiction of domestic violence, single parenthood and walking on through the wind and the rain. Or Oklahoma in the light of Judd’s mental illness. Let’s skip over the message behind Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and look at Showboat, which has actual people of colour singing songs about rivers and takes a sideways look the trials of being mixed-race in the Deep South.
Sarah Slade looks at a beautiful retread of an old theme.
There isn’t much that is new about Departure. An English family rattle around their French holiday home, replete with colour-washed walls, Le Creuset everything and a lovely collection of china. An enigmatic stranger appears and there is a sexual awakening. Everybody goes home, wiser, sadder and ready to face the future. It’s a theme that has been explored in many ways, by many film makers over many years. You could even say that middle-class angst in Aude is quite a safe topic for first-time director Andrew Steggall, but that would detract from what is a rather beautiful, sensitively acted film. Continue reading Departure
Sarah Slade revisits David Bowie Is, the documentary made about the 2013 V&A exhibition, which is showing in cinemas across the UK tonight.
As Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis movie ‘Miles Ahead’ arrives in cinemas, Sarah Slade revisits a classic film biography of another jazz great that you may have heard of.
I hate the word “iconic” – or at least the modern usage where anything prominent or praiseworthy is called “an icon”, like we should paint it gold and stick it on an altar in the living room. However, I can’t think of a better word to describe Charlie Parker’s standing in the history of jazz.
Sarah Slade muses on community and communality in cinemagoing in the era of digital exhibition.
Cartoon Saloon’s beautiful Oscar-nominated follow-up to The Secret of Kells is available on DVD and Bluray today. Sarah Slade is your reviewer.
Asif Kapadia’s documentary about the life and death of Amy Winehouse has been a fixture in the London top ten since its release. It has been praised for its sensitivity and dedication to a ‘true’ picture of Winehouse. But does it just follow a standard narrative for jazz musicians in the movies? Sarah and Martin Slade compare and contrast with the biopic of another jazz legend, Billie Holiday.