09
Nov
08

david thomson on films that are jazz, not about it

though i liked bird, i agree with his premise — and the sublime ellington score to anatomy of a murder is worth noting, as he says [link]

I’m picking Gould [in “the long goodbye”] because of the loose, liberated, comic spontaneity of his movements, his muttering and his being. Think of that opening scene where he wakes in the middle of the night and faces his cat in a duel over the right cat food. He talks to the cat, he talks to himself, he hums, he groans, he flexes and plays off the frosty alienness of his pet. It’s not that he’s “cool”, or “hip”, or a “stoner”, though those ideas can be picked up. It’s as if this Marlowe – so far from Chandler’s very sharp-minded narrator – is a mellow opacity through whom the film is projected. He is like Lester Young, in his room, alone, warming up. He is like Dexter Gordon in Round Midnight. It is one of the great rehearsals in American film, and it swings.

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