The Pleasures Of Being Out Of Step


The Pleasures Of Being Out Of Step

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Reviews Counted: 16

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Average Rating: 3.2/5

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Movie Info

Nat Hentoff is one of the enduring voices of the last 65 years, a writer who championed jazz as an art form and who also led the rise of 'alternative' journalism in America. This unique documentary wraps the themes of liberty, identity and free expression around a historical narrative that stretches from the Great Depression to the Patriot Act. At the core of the film are three extraordinary, intimate conversations with Hentoff. Commentary and perspective are offered through additional interviews with such luminaries as Amiri Baraka, Stanley Crouch, Floyd Abrams, Aryeh Neier and Dan Morgenstern. Interwoven through it all is the sublime music of Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus and Bob Dylan, along with never-before-seen photographs and archival footage of these artists and other cultural figures at the height of their powers. (C) First Run

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Critic Reviews for The Pleasures Of Being Out Of Step

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (8)

Director David L. Lewis presents a warm, informal portrait of this dynamic, white-bearded New Yorker.

Jul 24, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Stooped at almost 90 but feisty and humor-filled as ever, Hentoff presides over a film rich in the sounds and occasional sights of legendary cultural figures, from Lenny Bruce and Malcolm X to Bob Dylan and Coleman Hawkins.

Jul 11, 2014 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Still going strong in his 80s, Hentoff has had one of the more variegated careers in American letters.

Jul 11, 2014 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

The film moves fluidly between Hentoff's career focus on the Constitution and jazz, his "two main reasons for being," seeing freedom as the key to the beauty of both.

Jul 3, 2014 | Full Review…

This mellow chronicle of Nat Hentoff is like a tour through New York's past.

Jun 26, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Remarkably fluid and never lass than compellingly watchable.

Jun 25, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Pleasures Of Being Out Of Step


If you don't believe me when I tell you that Nat Hentoff is an interesting dude, then listen to what Lenny Bruce has to say in a clip from 1959. If you still don't believe either of us, then check out the documentary "The Pleasures of Being out of Step" which details Hentoff's decades long career as a jazz writer, not only as a critic but also as the writer of liner notes which also get explained here.(By the way, Hentoff was also a talking head in both Ken Burns' "Jazz" and Woody Allen's "Sweet and Lowdown.") He has also interviewed and befriended such notable figures as Lenny Bruce, Malcolm X and Bob Dylan, while also working the civil rights desk at the Village Voice. And that's where things could get quite a bit contentious for Hentoff, as while I could agree with him more often than not, sometimes his combative writing style could irk me at times. That, however, had little to do with his anti-abortion stand which came from some seriously twisted logic.(He thought that since one could discover a fetus' sexual orientation in the womb, then homophobes would chose to abort. However, these are the same kind of people who don't believe in science or abortion in the first place.) In any case, his manner in the documentary and in clips is rather reserved in contrast, especially in him not allowing to be baited by William F. Buckley.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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