Round Midnight

Celebrating “Dex@90” / Hosted by Maxine Gordon

The screening of Round Midnight at the 2013 Monterey Jazz Festival is dedicated to the memory of Cedar Walton.

Celebrating Dexter Gordon at 90 with a rare screening of what has been hailed as the best jazz film of all time, the 1986 groundbreaking 'Round Midnight. Directed by Bertrand Tavernier, the film starred Gordon and earned him an Oscar nomination. The film featured a cast of legends in dramatic roles, including Herbie Hancock, Bobby Hutcherson, Wayne Shorter,  Tony Williams, Freddie Hubbard, Ron Carter, Billi Higgins, and many others.

A post-screening discussion (around 6:45pm) will include Gordon's wife and manager Maxine Gordon, author Ashley Kahn, Ravi Coltrane, and Bobby Hutcherson.

Round Midnight is a 1986 film directed by Bertrand Tavernier and written by David Rayfiel and Bertrand Tavernier. It tells the story of an African American tenor saxophone player in Paris in the 1950s who is befriended by an unsuccessful French graphic designer who idolizes the musician and who tries desperately to help him to escape alcohol abuse. The protagonist jazzman, "Dale Turner," was based on a composite of real-life jazz legends Lester Young (tenor sax) and the tortured and enigmatic Bud Powell (piano). While the film is fictionalized, it is drawn directly from the memoir/biography Dance of the Infidels written by 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 the 1950s.

Dexter Gordon was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and won a Grammy for the film's soundtrack, The Other Side of Round Midnight, in the category for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance, Soloist. Herbie Hancock won the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Score. The soundtrack was released in two parts: Round Midnight and The Other Side of Round Midnight.

133 Minutes. Little Bear/PECF/Warner Brothers, 1986   
Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Screenplay: David Rayfiel and Bertrand Tavernier
Producer: Irwin Winkler
Original Music: Herbie Hancock
Cinematography: Bruno de Keyzer
Film Editing: Armand Psenny
Starring : Dexter Gordon, François Cluzet, Gabrielle Haker, Herbie Hancock, Martin Scorsese, Philippe Noiret, and more.

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