Jazz On A Summer’s Day, a film by Bert Stern

Jazz On A Summer's Day, a film by Bert Stern

Please check my jazzblog at jazzpages.tumblr.com In 1958, fashion photographer Bert Stern (famous for Marilyn Monroe's last photo shoot 'The Last Sitting', six weeks before her death) set out to make a film about the annual Jazz festival in Newport, Rhode Island. He approached his subject as an occasion to prove that music didn't have to be merely recorded; the film making itself could be as artful as the onstage sound. So the movie is itself a piece of jazz; in the first half of the film, the camera often wanders away from the stage to fixate on the crowd and the boats in the America's Cup yacht races, thus creating a great time capsule. Fielding five cameras simultaneously, some handheld and some with telephoto lenses, and using the finest Kodak positive-reversal color film, Stern captured brilliant images that, as he said 'just jumped off the screen'. Usually jazz films are all black and white, kind of depressing and in little downstairs nightclubs. This brought jazz out into the sun. It was different.' Hence the selection for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being 'culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant'.

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11 Responses to “Jazz On A Summer’s Day, a film by Bert Stern”

  1. sistalinda says:

    1958 USA: Lynchings in the south.  Oh, but in the north one could breath quite a bit easier listening to Jazz on a Summer’s Day.

  2. I m not very found; it’s very conventional as way of filming and the spirit of jazz is definitely not in Newsport’s festival
    I’m not surprised the movie is by a fashioner: he’s more interested by girls and their sweets than by jazz.
    But gerry mulligan and farmer’s piece is great
    excuse my english i’m french

  3. Wonderful ! I love Anita O’Day’s performance.

  4. Excellent !

    Next year, I’ll visit Newport, Rhode Island and north-american east coast from Acadie to Florida.

  5. gplito says:

    …cause it’s also about the America Cup Race and Newport, R.I. and most importantly about the people and the way things are/ used to be. He was also Marlyn Monroe’s photographer and he does indeed frame the women quite beautifully. American girls used to be the absolute best.

  6. The film maker didn’t care for jazz, he just made a film about this event.The film and the CD soundtrack are brilliant and unique. The occasional commentries about the sailing conditions or the traffic report are of their time and priceless too.Great seeing that all the booze drunk then matched this year’s Brecon Jazz festival consumption… 

  7. OtisSpain says:

    Interesting doument but definitively not a jazz lover’s dream. Too many people’s faces. Mostly of all too many boats!

  8. The person must have hit the wrong button by mistake…

  9. Anita O´Day´s a great artist, one of the absolute greatest…I´ve seen that part at least 10 times up till today, guess it will be many more…

  10. I wonder… the movie I saw in 1960 had Gerry Mulligan and Brookmeyer do a melodic version of “Lost in the Stars”. This must be a different movie.

  11. Julian9ehp says:

    I don’t _remember_ it being on the videotaped (unrestored) version I have at home. It might have been part of the original.

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