The film explores the 1957-65 New York City jazz scene as documented through more then 10.000 photos taken by Eugene Smith. In 1950s Manhattan, a dingy, five-story wreck of loft building becomes the home and obsession of the brilliant photographer W. Eugene Smith – who leaves his family and moves there to live the artist’s life. Smith, crashing after a stellar but frustrating career at Life Magazine, wires the building for sound and captures daily life at 821 Sixth Avenue in thousands of pictures and endless hours of audio tape. Over eight years in this place, jazz players gather all night, every night, for freewheeling jam sessions both hot and cool; Thelonious Monk comes by to rehearse for a famous concert; Hall Overton emerges as jazz guru; and gifted drummer named Ronnie Free finds and loses his footing in the jazz world. Smith stealthily documents all that and more. He was ahead of his time when he created the treasure trove of photos and recordings for future generations to experience. Not only does his work provide a front-row seat to these private jam sessions, but it also gives us much richer understanding of New York and the art and music scene of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. What he did was capture this place during those years as thoroughly as any one place has been documented over time. What luxury to be able to sort through Smith’s obsessive work and make it into a film.
21 October MKC Kino Frosina, 16:00