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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This week at SFC: Let's Get Lost & I'll Sing for You


STUDIOFILMCLUB is located in the front foyer space of building 7.

Our screenings are FREE and all are welcome to ALL.

We are back after a brief hiatus post T&T Film Fest and the annual European Film Fest

2 music films tonight - different places, different loses...
Bruce Weber's 1988 classic about jazz trumpeter Chet Baker - preceded by a documentary about Mali guitar great
Karkar - Boubacar Traore

I'll Sing for you (je chanterai pour toi) starts at 7:15pm EARLY START!!

Let's Get Lost 8:30pm

LET’S GET LOST (Bruce Weber/USA/1988/120').

A portrait of Chet Baker, the jazz trumpeter and singer who was one of the pioneers of the “cool” West Coast jazz sound. The film opens with Baker near the end of his life (he died a year later), hanging out on the beach with his current partner and another young woman, musing about his life in a stoned, dreamy reverie. Although he’s only 57, his face looks ravaged with age, evidently from years of drug use and living in the fast lane. But the eyes still radiate an intense kind of beauty.

Then the film goes back in time, to the years when Baker exploded on the scene, the peak years in the 1950s and early 60s, when he was most popular. The voice and the playing were wonderful, and he was a strikingly handsome man then, for sure. Weber, who made his name in fashion advertising, shot the film in black-and-white, which matches the old footage and perfectly evokes the smoky, laid-back jazz atmosphere of the time.

The film features interviews with people who knew him well, but the talking heads don’t break the spell. They do, however, reveal Baker’s darker sides, the drug problems and the bad marriages and the failure to honor commitments. The ex-wives and girlfriends are brutally frank; we get the lows as well as the highs. The movie starts to be more meaningful than perhaps Weber himself intended—more than just a film about a talented train-wreck of a man, it becomes a study in the tragic effects of a certain kind of careless approach to life. The music, of course, permeates the film and lends a romantic, melancholy hue to everything. Weber’s fidelity to mood transcends the conventions of biopic, turning Let’s Get Lost into a beautiful, albeit minor, cinematic gem.

I'll Sing for you (je chanterai pour toi) (Jacques Sarasin/France/2001/77')

An exceptional odyssey through the geography both of a country and of the human soul. It seems to be over in no time at all, leaving you wanting to watch it all over again. --Rhythm Magazine

I'LL SING FOR YOU is the musical odyssey of African Blues singer Boubacar "KarKar" Traoré that takes us on a social, political and geographic voyage of Mali from 1960 to today.

In the sixties, the people of Mali awoke each morning to the sound of Boubacar "KarKar" Traoré's voice on the radio, singing of independence. Nicknamed the Malian Elvis, Boubacar Traoré introduced "The Twist" to the West African nation of Mali in the late 1950s, and sang songs of independence to his fellow countrymen in the early 60s. But after a few short years of promise, as Mali's government became increasingly repressive and the economy stagnated, KarKar's career followed a similar trajectory. Both his life and his country's struggles spiraled into poverty and despair, and Traoré was left existing somewhere between myth and obscurity.

Boubacar put aside his guitar for decades and worked to feed his family. After his wife died, Boubacar, heartbroken, left for France where he was able work and sing on weekends in the Parisian immigrant shelters where he lived. Everyone in Mali thought KarKar was dead -- until many years later a music producer discovered an old recording of his and tracked him down, beginning a new career for KarKar.

Director Jacques Sarasin lovingly chronicles Boubacar's journey back home following him throughout Mali, as he plays his sweet and affecting blues melodies with fellow musicians like blues master Ali Farka Touré, percussionist Madieye Niang, Kora player Ballaké Sissoko and photographer Malick Sibide. Archival footage and photos, as well as stories from friends about his life and legacy round out the film.