À l'été 1987, durant le Festival international de jazz de Montréal, l'allure empreinte de retenue du pianiste soviétique Leonid Chizhik côtoie la véhémence spontanée et chaleureuse d'Oliver Jones et l'écriture saccadée de Jean Beaudet. En toile de fond, le jazz scandale, censuré à la fois par les commissaires soviétiques et les évêques catholiques, sa sophistication, puis finalement l'appropriation de son coeur et de son rythme par différentes cultures.
Shot in 1987 at the Montréal International Jazz Festival, this documentary film presents musical performances and conversations between three jazz pianists with remarkably different styles--Soviet Leonid Chizhik, Black Montrealer Oliver Jones, and French-Canadian Jean Beaudet. It introduces viewers to the diversity of interpretation within today's jazz world, explores the roots of modern jazz and the specific formative influences on the musicians profiled, and reaches for a definition of twentieth-century jazz.
Oliver Jones, one of Canada's foremost jazz pianists, tours Nigeria with his bassist and drummer, discovering in Africa the roots of much of today's music. Hearing and absorbing the musical sources of blues, spirituals, calypso rhythms and more, he reflects that for a Black jazz artist, a trip to Africa is a voyage home.
This feature documentary uses music to reveal the many faces of jazz, New Orleans style. Colourful and alive with music, the film captures the street life and traditions of this vibrant city and explores the roots of the music that springs from the soul of the African-American community.
This bilingual film features the Commissioner of Official Languages and two intermediate school students. The Commissioner explains, in English and in French, the Official Languages Act, his duties and the activities of his Office under the Act. A number of light-hearted situations simulated in the film demonstrate how individual efforts can put Canada's two official languages on an equal basis.
Pianists Kuo-Yen of Taiwan and Pierre Jasmin of Québec met and fell in love while studying music in Vienna. The film is a "letter" from Pierre to Kuo-Yen, who has made the difficult decision to return to her native land. Jasmin is sending her the images, words, and music of their last days as a couple ... in Moscow. They had come there for Kuo-Yen to compete in the 8th Tchaikovsky Piano Competition; how she fared determined her future. While pivoting on the drama of an international music competition and the sorrow inherent in parting, the film is also full of laughter, light, and love.
This feature doc tells the story of the improbable friendship between acclaimed Quebec singer Félix Leclerc and the intriguing Frank Randolph Macpherson. A chemical engineer from Jamaica, Macpherson immigrated to Quebec in 1917 and was the inspiration for the popular song that Leclerc named after him. But this is also a story about memory: it was animator Martine Chartrand’s memory of this song that compelled her to create the striking animated short MacPherson, made by filming paintings on glass using 35mm film. A sympathetic look at an artist at work, Finding Macpherson takes audiences on a personal journey, exploring the imperceptible yet powerful connections that bind us to each other.
This short documentary is about a young Cuban band that has recently moved to Canada. The members spend their days learning English and their nights playing and rehearsing their own blend of Cuban salsa music in clubs. The film follows the musicians, capturing their constant discussions about the political situation at home and the problems of citizen engagement in both communist Cuba and democratic Canada.
This documentary presents two young women from Halifax who are organizing rock concerts to raise money for the group Eastcoast Against Racism. Bronwen and Yaffa believe that the universal language of music will help unite the community. At the same time, they struggle to renew their friendship with Scott, a former Ku Klux Klan member. This moving film is set against a vibrant soundtrack of punk and rap music.
This short sensory film explores the internal process of Alexina Louie, whose unique sound has established her as one of Canada’s most performed and highly regarded composers.
This documentary celebrates the vibrant culture and tenacious struggle of the Canadian Gypsy and introduces a new generation of Roma who claim their roots with pride. They call themselves by their rightful name, the Roma. Almost 80,000 call Canada home. Meet Julia Lovell, a passionate defender of Roma human rights, whose father is slowly gaining the confidence to reveal his heritage; and Karen Gray Boothroyd, a flamenco dancer just beginning to reclaim her Gypsy roots.
This feature documentary presents a thoughtful and vivid portrait of a community facing imposed relocation. At the centre of the story is a remarkably astute and luminous 12-year-old black girl whose poignant observations about life, the soul, and the power of art give voice to those rarely heard in society. Unarmed Verses is a cinematic rendering of our universal need for self-expression and belonging.