Ornette: Made in America (2012)

Ornette: Made in America



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Few intersections are as potentially thrilling and explosive as the meeting of great artists from different disciplines. When Oscar (R)-winning filmmaker (and former dancer) Shirley Clarke trained her cameras and creativity on jazz great Ornette Coleman, the result was a documentary portrait like no other - kaleidoscopic, mesmerizing and well, cosmic. This meeting of extraordinary New York talents originated in Forth Worth in the early 1980s. Producer Kathelin Hoffman was preparing to open … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Milestone Pictures


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Critic Reviews for Ornette: Made in America

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (10)

Though Ornette: Made in America is hardly a straight-up biographical doc ... it's the place to go to unlock some of the most precious secrets of Ornette.

Full Review… | July 14, 2015
Village Voice
Top Critic

Shirley Clarke's 1985 documentary about the seminal jazz innovator Ornette Coleman joins an impressionistic portrait of the musician with an informative overview of his life, work, and ideas.

Full Review… | April 6, 2015
New Yorker
Top Critic

[A] fascinating, maddening, one-of-a-kind film.

Full Review… | August 31, 2012
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

Ms. Clarke's portrait is of an extraordinary artist and genuinely likable man.

Full Review… | August 30, 2012
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

Coleman's life and work are treated as a continuum, which Clarke pulls from at will.

Full Review… | August 28, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

A funky tribute to the great saxophonist.

Full Review… | March 27, 2012
Village Voice
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Ornette: Made in America

With the subject of this documentary being the great improvisatory jazz musician Ornette Coleman, filmmaker Shirley Clarke took a suitably free associative approach that is framed by a symphony performance by Coleman in his old hometown of Fort Worth, Tx, completing the circle with his own son on drums. And in this city, past, present and future collide, starting with a wild west shootout demonstration on the street(at first, I was content to file this under only in Texas...or maybe Wyoming?), that allows Coleman to coexist with his younger selves(Demon Marshall & Eugene Tatum) who ran away from home in the slums across the train tracks and in the shadow of the glittering skyscrapers of downtown while the present day Coleman threatens to dematerialize at times.(Unlike many documentaries that could be considered fantasy, this is about the only one that could also be considered science fiction with 80's graphics that I am rather nostalgic about.) It is not only musicians like Charlie Parker that influenced him but also the theorist and futurist Buckminster Fuller who sounds like an interesting dude and of course William Burroughs who also does a reading in the present here. As for the future, Coleman demonstrates a then novel satellite hookup between Lower Manhattan and Harlem and also was currently working for NASA in order to communicate how happening a species human beings can be to any extraterrestrials out there.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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