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All Critics (19)
| Top Critics (10)
| Fresh (17)
| Rotten (2)
| DVD (2)
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.
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.
[A] fascinating, maddening, one-of-a-kind film.
Ms. Clarke's portrait is of an extraordinary artist and genuinely likable man.
Coleman's life and work are treated as a continuum, which Clarke pulls from at will.
A funky tribute to the great saxophonist.
Made in America captures a truly restless artist still seeking some ever-elusive musical transcendence. It's a terrific film.
An intricately knit series of riffs on free jazz giant Ornette Coleman, one of the greatest living artists twentieth-century modernism produced.
A match made in heaven between avant-garde jazz and avant-garde cinema.
An ambitious offbeat documentary about the elusive Texas avant-garde jazz saxophonist and innovator Ornette Coleman.
Ornette: Made In America is an unusual hybrid of straight documentary and art film.
It's significant that Coleman tells Clarke's cameras that he thought of being an architect or 'brain specialist' before becoming a musician; as a jazz composer, instrumentalist and bandleader, he achieved all his goals.
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.
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