Skip to main content

The Cry of Jazz

USA, 1959 (MIFF 1960, Programme 10)

Director: Edward O. Bland

The Cry of Jazz makes a complete about-face in American documentary, from a passive, objective democratic or "simple humanist'' approach to a personal, passionate, active one. It is an essay film, with all visual material and commentary subject to proving and illustrating an idea.

Produced by a group of young Negro intellectuals and artists in Chicago, the film describes the condi­tions of the Negro today through the history and character of jazz. The director takes a very cate­gorical stand: that jazz is an expression of the American Negro; that the Negro, because of his long suffering was able to retain more of the tragic-emotional richness than the American white; and that jazz is now dead because the Negro is enter­ing the stage of a more conscious confident accept­ance of himself. All this is stated not in logical expressions but in passionate outbursts. It is said with a sort of philosophical anger, as though by one who has finally lost all patience with expla­nation. It is like a cry held too long in the throat.

See also...

My Garden Japan

The film expresses the special bond with nature felt by the Japanese; shows how this influenced their traditional art and culture, and their philosophy of landscape design. ... More »

A is for Architecture

A study of the aesthetics and achievements of architecture through the ages by means of animation. Through the brushes of artists we pass from the ancient temples of the Nile to the skyscrapers of ... More »

Entr’acte by Candlelight

This film describes the life and artistry of Harry van Tussenbroek, who is renowned throughout Holland for the delicacy and skill with which he makes puppets. The photography is beautiful, and the ... More »

POWER AMONG MEN

This film is dedicated to its cast: the villagers of Sant" Ambrogio, Italy, the farmers of Fermathe. Haiti; the townsfolk of Kitimat. Canada, and the scientists at Kjcller, Norway. ... Power Among ... More »

FIRES ON THE PLAIN

Fires on the Plain, like director Ichikawa's earlier Harp of Burma, is concerned with the futility and horror of war, and protests at the private suffering which comprises this social catastrophe. It ... More »

Yellow Submarine Sandwich

A spoof on the original "yellow Submarine" film originally made for the television showing of "The Rutles". ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director