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USA, 1988 (MIFF 1989)

Director: Bruce Weber

Everyone asks me why I made a film about Chet Baker. Why a film about about 'love and fascination' and jazz? It all started many years ago when I first meet Nan. After one bottle of wine during our first dinner together we started talking about how much we loved jazz. We discovered that our favourite record was an old Chet Baker album from the fifties called 'Let's Get Lost". I ordered two more bottles of wine and we fell in love' (Bruce Weber)

There's obviously more to it than that In addition to Chet Baker's music, which provided some of the most hauntingly memorable tracks in Bruce Weber's previous film Broken Noses, Baker himself was as cool, good-looking and languorous as Weber's Calvin Klein ads. And his trumpet playing and singing were sublime. On both instruments his melodic sense was simple, tyrical and elegant, and he could hold a note so long, so clearly and so effortlessly that it could slide you away into the ether.

Baker's story is also filled with the tomance of renegade art, glamorous women, smoky jazz cellars, and exile in Europe. One of the many jazz musicians who found life as a heroin addict easier in Europe. Baker left the United States over twenty-five years ago to continue to live out life as a jazz legend.

Weber's documentary is as free-form and contemporary as Baker's music, and the images and pacing of the film are equally glamorous and lingering. Old footage and photographs from the fifties as well as recent interviews with Baker, his wives and friends drift across the film effortlessly and yet compellingly. And throughout there is Baker's music. Sheer bliss.

Chet Baker was bom December 23, 1929. He died May 13, 1988.- Kay Armatage, Toronto Film Festival

See also: Chet's Romance/A Night In Havana

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