"Art of Jazz" Cinema Series: "Round Midnight"

Round Midnight

1986
2 hours 18 mins
Directed By: Bertrand Tavernier

Jazz great Dexter Gordon plays a brilliant, self-destructive, African American musician who moves to Paris in the 1950s to find an audience more appreciative of his art--and more accepting of his race. There a young, female fan bonds with the talented musician, but even her affection may not be enough to save him from alcoholism, drug addiction and depression in this deeply human drama probing the price a great artist must pay for his gift. Round Midnight is a 1986 American-French musical drama film directed by Bertrand Tavernier and written by Tavernier
and David Rayfiel. It stars Dexter Gordon, François Cluzet and Herbie
Hancock. Martin Scorsese, Philippe Noiret and Wayne Shorter appear in cameos. The protagonist jazzman, "Dale Turner", was based on a composite of real-life jazz legends Lester Young (tenor sax) and Bud Powell (piano). While the film is fictionalized, it is drawn directly from the memoir/biography Dance of the
Infidels written by French author Francis Paudras, who had befriended Powell during his Paris expatriate days and on whom the character "Francis" is based. The film is a wistful and tragic portrait that captures the Paris jazz scene of the1950s.