Thursday 30 April 2020

David Meeker's Ten Favourite Jazz Films

Duke Ellington behind the scene of NBC's What Is Jazz? (1958) episode#1 [Source: GettyImages]

David Meeker, the author of Jazz in the Movies (and its online, massively updated version, Jazz on the Screen, available on the website of the Library of Congress), has been kind enough to furnish me with the list of his favourite jazz films. I don't think anyone in the world has seen as many jazz films as David has and certainly no-one has bothered spending years retrieving information (including song lists and personnel) from these films, compiling the indispensable encyclopedia that he has given us. For that reason, I think this list should be cherished more than other similar listings — this is the work of a man who has almost seen everything! - EK 

By my reckoning the first ever sound film of a jazz performance was produced in 1922, a short featuring pianist Eubie Blake. Therefore, faced with almost 100 years of world cinema and taking a degree of masochistic pleasure in sticking my neck out I have managed with considerable difficulty to reduce untold millions of feet of celluloid to a necessarily subjective choice of 10 favourite titles, undoubtedly quirky but hopefully not pretentious. Try and see them if you can - they all have much to offer both intellectually and emotionally.
David Meeker

Tuesday 14 April 2020

5 Nowruz Recommendations [1398]

جوسلین صعب

پنج پیشنهاد تماشا برای نوروز 1398، به درخواست ماهنامۀ سینمایی فیلم.

سه‌گانۀ بیروت (جوسلین صعب، 82-1976): این معادل تابلوی گِرنیکای پیکاسو در سینماست، همان اندازه تکان دهنده، موحش و ساخته شده سر یک بزنگاه تاریخی و اخلاقی. یک زن آن را در زیر بمباران‌های دائمی و در بین منظری از بچه‌هایی که بدن‌هایش از گرسنگی دفرمه شده و بدن‌های تحت تأثیر بمب‌های شیمیایی اسرائیل به رنگ آبی درآمده ساخته است. فیلم مناسب عید نیست، اما آیا واقعیت مخصوص مواقع مشخصی از سال است؟

ای آفتاب (مد هوندو، 1970): بزرگ‌ترین کشف من در سال گذشته. اگر چارلی مینگوس (نوازنده باس و رهبر ارکستر موسیقی جاز در طرف مدرنش) فیلمساز بود، فیلمش اثری چنین خشمگین، زیبا، و با فرمی سیال از کار درمی‌آمد. فیلم دربارۀ تنهایی یک آفریقایی در اروپاست و این فیلمساز اهل موریتانی هر ثانیه‌ این دنیای دشوار را تجربه و لمس کرده است.

Saturday 11 April 2020

From the Archives: Iran - Rich Land, Poor Land

click to enlarge

Poster (newsmap) produced by the US Army Information Branch in February 1946 to provide the army members with the basic information regarding the post-war landscape of Iran. Courtesy of the University of North Texas.


[United States.] Army Information Branch. Newsmap for the Armed Forces : Iran, rich land poor land, poster, February 18, 1946; [New York]. ( accessed April 11, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library,; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.

Thursday 9 April 2020

On Film Curating [Scalarama Newspaper Interview]

Interviewed by UK's Scalarama Newspaper in late summer 2019. EK


What inspired you to get into film programming?

I was playing films, from VHS tapes, for my two sisters. Every day we were lying on the floor , putting our heads in 30 degree angels towards each on a big pillow -- almost like mummies -- totally transfixed by Singin' in the Rain or Citizen Kane, without understanding a word of English. It came out of that, a sort of natural tendency to share what you think is good. Later I thought if I could entertain my sisters, I might be able to keep more people entertained.