‘ROUND MIDNIGHT (director/writer: Bertrand Travernier; screenwriter: David Rayfiel; cinematographer: Bruno de Keyzer; editor: Armand Psenny; music: Herbie Hancock; cast: Dexter Gordon(Dale Turner), Francois Cluzet (Francis Borler), Gabrielle Haker (Berangere), Sandra Reaves-Phillips (Buttercup), John Berry (Ben), Herbie Hancock (Eddie Wayne); Runtime: 131; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Irwin Winkler; Warner Home Video; 1986)
“Wonderful offbeat homage to be-bop.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Gallic filmmaker Bertrand Travernier‘ (“Beatrice”/”Mississippi Blues”/”L.627“) wonderful offbeat homage to be-bop and to the black jazz musicians who made Paris their hangout during the late 1950s. The jazz film is dedicated to jazz greats Bud Powell and Lester Young. The screenplay is authored by Travernier and the American David Rayfiel. The 63-year-old Dexter Gordon, a veteran jazz sax performer, is cast as the world-weary lead–a blend of Bud Powell and Lester Young. The pic is a studio film, shot almost entirely in the Epinay studios north of Paris. What it has going for it is the authentic smoky atmosphere of jazz, where life is boozy, drug-induced and harrowing but the jazz sounds soulful and penetrating. This is a jazz film for the serious lover of jazz.
Dexter Gordon’s performance is larger than life. Herbie Hancock’s soundtrack is cool.
REVIEWED ON 3/30/2015 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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