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      Ornette: Made in America

      1985 1h 30m Documentary List
      90% Tomatometer 21 Reviews 46% Audience Score 50+ Ratings This documentary profiles the life and career of saxophone player and jazz musician Ornette Coleman. Coleman, a pioneer in the "free jazz" era of the 1960s and a Pulitzer Prize winner who has played with such major musicians as Jerry Garcia, is seen here on the road. As his tour starts in Fort Worth, Tex., where Coleman was born, the musician is shown on stage and discussing his craft. Interviews are also conducted with Coleman's former band mates. Read More Read Less

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      Critics Reviews

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      Stephanie Zacharek Village Voice 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. Jul 14, 2015 Full Review Richard Brody New Yorker 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. Apr 6, 2015 Full Review Noel Murray The Dissolve Ornette: Made In America is an unusual hybrid of straight documentary and art film. Rated: 3/5 Nov 10, 2014 Full Review Marya E. Gates Cool People Have Feelings, Too. (Substack) A perfect combination of subject and filmmaker, showing how Clarke and Coleman were both singular talents whose work broke barriers in world of art and music. Feb 13, 2024 Full Review Jordan M. Smith IONCINEMA.com There are occasional faults in the foundation of Clarke's film, but for the most part her vision is one of complimentary jubilance for a man she dearly admires for his creativity and moral standing. Rated: 2.5/5 Nov 3, 2020 Full Review Josef Braun Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Alberta) Made in America captures a truly restless artist still seeking some ever-elusive musical transcendence. It's a terrific film. Nov 18, 2015 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member NOT a straightforward doco about great jazz composer and saxophonist Ornette Coleman but instead something more impressionistic from famed documentarian Shirley Clarke (The Cool World, 1963). We begin in the early â~80s with Ornette receiving the key to the city of Fort Worth where he was born in advance of a concert (recorded as Opening the Caravan of Dreams, 1983) featuring his composition "Skies of America" accompanied by a symphony orchestra. Then, we bounce around in time, with some concert footage from 1968 and a visit to the Master Musicians of Jajouka in Morocco (cue William Burroughs and Brion Gysin). He plays the violin as well as the saxophone. All the while, we see glimpses of child actors playing Ornette as a kid or a teen with a big saxophone wandering around Fort Worth (which looks dilapidated) â" these scenes intimate the difficulties Ornette must have faced on the road to success. Later we meet Denardo, both as a pre-teen and older playing with PrimeTime and see him chatting with his dad. Only late in the picture do some talking heads appear discussing Ornette and his influence (the negative reaction to his "different" music in the late 50s/early 60s). The man himself offers a number of anecdotes and insights (something about wanting to be voluntarily castrated) but I'll still never understand what he means by harmolodics. Clarke probably tries too hard to make the film as experimental as Coleman's music but her approach does add value; nevertheless a straightforward documentary and a concert film would nicely accompany this art film. And I'm just happy to listen to the man's incredible music. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member I was interested in the beginning, but found myself bored about halfway through Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/15/23 Full Review Audience Member An interesting document, definitely worth seeing if you're an Ornette fan, but Shirley Clarke's retarded editing gets in the way of it being what it could've been. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/19/23 Full Review walter m 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. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Ornette: Made in America

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis This documentary profiles the life and career of saxophone player and jazz musician Ornette Coleman. Coleman, a pioneer in the "free jazz" era of the 1960s and a Pulitzer Prize winner who has played with such major musicians as Jerry Garcia, is seen here on the road. As his tour starts in Fort Worth, Tex., where Coleman was born, the musician is shown on stage and discussing his craft. Interviews are also conducted with Coleman's former band mates.
      Director
      Shirley Clarke
      Producer
      Kathelin Hoffman
      Genre
      Documentary
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Mar 17, 2017
      Runtime
      1h 30m
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