Cry of Jazz

Monday, April 12th, 7:30pm

***Back By Popular Demand***

Dir. Edward Bland, 1959, 34 min.

The Cry of Jazz is filmmaker, composer and arranger Edward O. Bland's essay on the politics of music and race. Not only is this one of the earliest documentaries made by an African American, it is arguably the first time an African American director openly challenges assumptions of white supremacy on film. Bland makes an early argument that Jazz is an inherently Black art form, rooted in Black experience, being diluted by White imitators to its own peril. Bland makes the case by grounding Sun Ra’s soundtrack in poignant images of Black urban experience and cultural life compared with the “cool” sound and posture of White jazz performers. This argument has fueled debate and cultural production from the Black Arts movement through the current “post-racial” period. "Edward O. Bland’s...insights into the art and politics of jazz—as seen in this short work of philosophical agitprop, from 1959—are profound."-Richard Brody (The New Yorker, 1/11/10)

Followed by Q&A with Dir. Edward Bland