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A man playing a saxophone on stage.
Robert Altman's Jazz '34

Film

Presented by the Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI

Robert Altman’s Jazz ‘34

Unclassified 15+

Beautiful Losers: Robert Altman’s Panoramic Cinema

2 May

Robert Altman’s Jazz ’34 is an evocative, lively and personally felt recreation of an all-night jam session in Kansas City in 1934.

Filmed during the making of Altman’s partly autobiographical reminiscence of his home town in the 1930s, Kansas City, this dramatised musical documentary is dominated by the brilliantly staged cutting contest between saxophonists Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young.

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  • Narrated by Harry Belafonte, Jazz ’34 features a range of the best contemporary jazz musicians, such as Craig Handy, Joshua Redman, Ron Carter, David “Fathead” Newman, playing several of the greats of the emerging swing era: Young, Hawkins, Count Basie, Ben Webster, Mary Lou Williams.

    This rare screening will be preceded by an introductory talk on Altman by Adrian Danks (co-curator of the Melbourne Cinématheque and author of A Companion to Robert Altman published by Wiley-Blackwell, 2015).