The NFB and Jazz

The NFB and Jazz

We've put together a selection of films set to jazz music that's sure to get you moving... or at least tapping your feet! The playlist includes classics such as The Log Driver's Waltz, Street Musique and Norman McLaren's Begone Dull Care, featuring music by the great Oscar Peterson. You'll be able to relive musical and cinematic moments from years gone by.

Enjoy.

  • Begone Dull Care

    In this extraordinary short animation, Evelyn Lambart and Norman McLaren painted colours, shapes, and transformations directly on to their filmstrip. The result is a vivid interpretation, in fluid lines and colour, of jazz music played by the Oscar Peterson Trio.

  • Walking
    1968|5 min

    Animator Ryan Larkin uses an artist's sensibility to illustrate the way people walk. He employs a variety of techniques--line drawing, colour wash, etc.--to catch and reproduce the motion of people afoot. The springing gait of youth, the mincing step of the high-heeled female, the doddering amble of the elderly--all are registered with humour and individuality, to the accompaniment of special sound. Without words.

  • Street Musique
    1972|8 min

    Animator Ryan Larkin does a visual improvisation to music performed by a popular group presented as sidewalk entertainers. His take-off point is the music, but his own beat is more boisterous than that of the musicians. The illustrations range from convoluted abstractions to caricatures of familiar rituals. Without words.

  • Boogie-Doodle
    1941|3 min

    In this short animation film, the "boogie" is played by Albert Ammons and the "doodle" is drawn by Norman McLaren. Made without the use of a camera, Boogie-Doodle is a rhythmic, brightly coloured film experiment.

  • Juke-Bar
    1989|10 min

    This animated short introduces a juke box into a greasy spoon diner overrun with cockroaches. The cockroaches get caught up in the music as their lives are transformed by the arrival of this new machine. But the restaurant's owner has a plan: will he be able to outsmart his uninvited guests?

  • Canada Vignettes: Log Driver's Waltz
    1979|3 min

    Easily one of the most often-requested films in the NFB collection, this lighthearted animated short is based on the song “The Log Driver’s Waltz” by Wade Hemsworth. Kate and Anna McGarrigle sing along to the tale of a young girl who loves to dance and chooses to marry a log driver over his more well-to-do competitors.

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  • Hen Hop
    1942|3 min

    This joyful short animation features a dancing hen that transforms into an egg. The film was made without a camera by Norman McLaren, who drew directly onto 35 mm movie stock with ordinary pen and ink. Colour was added optically.

  • Le merle
    1958|4 min

    In this animation film, Norman McLaren imparts unusual activity to an old French-Canadian nonsense song. Simple white cut-outs on pastel backgrounds, many by Evelyn Lambart, provide lively illustrations. The folksong "Mon Merle" is sung in French by the Trio Lyrique of Montreal.

  • Toronto Jazz
    1963|26 min

    This short documentary profiles the mid-century Toronto jazz scene through the eyes of acclaimed filmmaker Don Owen (Nobody Waved Good-bye). The film features prominent acts from what was then regarded as the third-largest jazz centre in North America, including the Lenny Breau trio, the Don Thompson Quintet and the Alf Jones Quartet. Jazz lovers will relish this inside look at the creativity, hard work, improvisation, and stylization of these talented musicians.