Monday, October 8th
In 1974, the most celebrated American R&B acts of the time came together with the most renowned musical groups in Africa for a 12-hour, three-night long concert held in Kinshasa, Zaire. The dream-child of Hugh Masekela and Stewart Levine, this music festival became a reality when they convinced boxing promoter Don King to combine the event with “The Rumble in the Jungle,” the epic fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, previously chronicled in the Academy Award-winning documentary When We Were Kings. Soul Power is a verite? documentary about this legendary music festival (dubbed “Zaire ‘74”), and it depicts the experiences and performances of such musical luminaries as James Brown, B.B. King, Bill Withers, Celia Cruz, among a host of others. At the peak of their talents and the height of their careers, these artists were inspired by this return to their African roots, as well as the enthusiasm of the Zairian audience, to give the performances of their lives. (93 minutes, 2008)
NO FILM TONIGHT! Please enjoy the 23rd annual New Orleans Film Festival – www.neworleansfilmsociety.org.
Monday, October 22
THE UPSETTER: The Life & Music of Lee Scratch Perry by Ethan Higbee and Adam Bhala Loug
This feature documentary, about one of the most fascinating and influential artists of our times, probes into Perry’s mysterious youth in Jamaica, as well as the notorious events of his peak production years in Kingston, in which Scratch mentored a young Bob Marley, created the sound of Reggae as we now know it, pioneered a new genre of music he called Dub, invented what was to become the remix and produced international hit songs for artists from Junior Murvin to The Congos to Paul McCartney to The Clash — all while working out of the infamous Black Ark Studio, a shack that he built with his hands then later burned to the ground in a fit of drug addled rage. Equally a documentation of a musical culture and a fascinating character study of genius and madness, The Upsetter is a sight and sound clash of visual and aural styles, utilizing ancient stock footage, photographs, concert video, audio clips, music video clips both old and new, and an exclusive, candid interview with the mastermind himself at his home in Switzerland. (95 minutes, 2008) ViewFilm Trailer.
Monday, October 29
ROUND MIDNIGHT by Bertrand Tavernier
A wistful and tragic portrait that captures the Paris jazz scene of the 1950s, this Academy Award-winning film tells the story of an African American tenor saxophonist (played by Dexter Gordon), who is befriended by an unsuccessful French graphic designer who idolizes the musician and tries desperately to help him escape alcohol abuse. The protagonist “Dale Turner” was based on a composite of real-life jazz legends Lester Young (tenor sax) and the tortured and enigmatic Bud Powell (piano). The supporting cast features musicians Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, John McLaughlin, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, and Billy Higgins. (133 minutes, 1986) View Film Trailer. CD giveaways courtesy of Concord Music Group and Concord Jazz.