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Round Midnight
Round Midnight

List Price: $19.98
Our Price: $79.99
Availability: N/A
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Publisher: Warner Home Video
Starring: Dexter Gordon, François Cluzet, Gabrielle Haker, Sandra Reaves-Phillips, Lonette McKee
Directed By: Bertrand Tavernier

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Product Description:
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Binding: DVD
Brand: Warner Home Video
EAN: 9780790752990
Format: Anamorphic
ISBN: 0790752999
Item Dimensions: Array
Label: Warner Home Video
Languages: Array
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Number Of Discs: 1
Number Of Items: 1
Publisher: Warner Home Video
Region Code: 1
Release Date: 2001-01-30
Running Time: 133
Studio: Warner Home Video
Editorial Review:
Inside the Blue Note nightclub one night in 1959 Paris, an aged, ailing jazzman coaxes an eloquent wail from his tenor sax. Outside, a young Parisian too broke to buy a glass of wine strains to hear those notes. Soon they will form a friendship that sparks a final burst of genius in director Bertrand Tavernier
Like the music it celebrates, Round Midnight is long on atmosphere, short on formal structure, alert and open to improvisation, making this 1986 drama the most authentic glimpse of jazz yet filmed. Its subject, Dale Turner (played by Dexter Gordon), is a composite of brilliant but bruised jazz warriors who left America behind for self-imposed European exile, finding a more tolerant and appreciative audience while never completely eluding their private demons. Drugs and drink have battered the tall, laconic saxophonist, whose diffident, somewhat distracted manner only partly conceals a deeper exhaustion as he plays a 1959 engagement in a Parisian club and tries to stay sober. His burnished solos drift behind the tempo with a languor that can't be fully explained as a point of style. But when an ardent, impoverished French fan (François Cluzet) intercepts his idol and then offers him simple acts of kindness, the gesture inspires a brief but glowing second wind in the aging musician, reflected in his playing. Even as the film contemplates Turner's return to his homeland as a portent of his own death, his moments on the Parisian bandstand suggest a glimpse of redemption.

If Turner's frail character echoes real-life ex-pats like Bud Powell and Lester Young, director Bertrand Tavernier's insistence upon casting the role with veteran tenor player Dexter Gordon breathes startling authenticity into the figure. Gordon's own drug arrests and an extended idyll abroad give him direct access to Turner's isolation, and Tavernier elicits a natural but compelling performance that earned Gordon (who died in 1990) an Academy Award nomination. Likewise, the director cast his cinematic band with world-class musicians, including Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, and Ron Carter, and shot these sequences as live performances. Hancock's score deservedly won both British and American Academy Awards, as well as a French César. --Sam Sutherland

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