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CHICO HAMILTON: DANCING TO A DIFFERENT DRUMMER

Hungary / Germany / Croatia / Chile, 2002 (MIFF 2002, Backbeat)

Director: Julian Benedikt

Julian Benedikt's third documentary to be screened at MIFF; this exhaustively researched film traces the life of Chico Hamilton from the early years performing with his school buddies Dexter Gordon and Charles Mingus, through the orchestras of Count Basie and Duke Ellington to his time with the legendary Gerry Mulligan Quartet, which he helped put together with Chet Baker in the late 50s.

In addition to a treasury of live footage, the film features interviews with a gallery of Chico Hamilton's peers and fans including the Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts who originally played under the name 'Chico' Watts to express his admiration for his hero. Throughout the film the key interviews with Hamilton are conducted by Roman Polanski (Hamilton scored Polanski's 1966 film, Repulsion).

Benedikt salutes Hamilton's current group, Euphoria, documenting a complete performance of the epic composition, 'Sculpture'. The track perfectly encapsulates the drummer's remarkable vision and exceptional talent, displaying the influence he has exerted on players from the 60s through to loy Division/New Order sticksman Stephen Morris.

Julian Benedikt (1963) has a background in jazz and classical music. His acclaimed documentaries include Voodoo Chile: The Music of Jimi Hendrix (1995), Blue Note: A Story of Modern Jazz (MIFF 1998) and Stars by Helmut Newton (MIFF 2001).

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