Skip to main content


USA, 1960 (MIFF 1997, All That Jazz)

Director: Bert Stern

Jazz On A Summer's Day is the first and archetyp­al concert film, the progenitor of Woodstock, The T.A.M.I. Show etc. Columbia Records, which at the time (1958) owned most of the great jazz recording artists, hired top international photog­rapher Bert Stern to cover the Newport, Rhode Island Jazz Festival, an annual outdoor event with the America's Cup sailing race going on in the background. What we get is a myth wrapped in a myth; jazz as a community of black and white performers together enfolded in a tradi­tional American small-town community of black and white music lovers paying homage.

The film coincided with and crystallises the cul­tural moment in American life when jazz was given full, comfortable, unthreatening middle-class status: it was OK, coffee-table book, CBS television, certified culture, and Jazz On A Summers Day is the catalogue of its images, its associa­tions. and, by omission, all those things we don't want it to be. Hailed at the time for finding colours and images to match jazz sounds, MIFF is proud to present a newly struck colour print fea­turing, in their prime, Louis Armstong, Mahalia Jackson, Dinah Washington, Jack Teagarden, Jimmy Guiffre, Chuck Berry, George Shearing, Sonny Stitt, Gerry Mulligan, Thelonious Monk, Big Maybelle, Chico Hamilton, and many more.

See also...


One of very few all-black films made by the major studios, Stormy Weather was intended to include Negroes in the World War II war effort. It is also, sort of, the story of black American jazz from ... More »


Jazz has always needed its dark, Byronic mar­tyrs: first the white cornetist, Bix Beiderbecke, wrapped in the comparative innocence of Jazz Age flappers and bootleg gin; then the black ... More »


Donald McGlynn has developed documen­tary portraiture of jazz musicians to a fine art. Dexter Gordon - More Than You Know is his latest exemplary effort. Gordon is the transitional fig­ure ... More »


Slices of a real, then fictional, then real, then fictional jazz life held together by Herbie Hancock's music played by all-star combos - 'Round Midnight embodies the jazz myth of the outsider. In an ... More »

From Generation to Generation

By means of diagrams and actual photography the film tells with imagery and symbolism the story of human reproduction. ... More »

The Fun Factory

The Fun Factory is Mack Sennett's studio, where the slapstick two-reelers were churned out at a rate of two a week. Numerous extracts, starring, amongst others Chaplin, Gloria Swanson, Ben Turpin ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director