Freitag, 12. Juni 2009

Festival-Finale: MusikMusik! (4) | The Jazz Baroness —
die Muse und der Engel von Thelonious Monk

Film-Nr.: 661
Vorführungstermin: Festival-Finale, Montag, 17. August 2009, 20.15 Uhr [VN66]
Themenschwerpunkt: MusikMusik! (4)

Englischer Titel: The Jazz Baroness
Originaltitel: The Jazz Baroness
Deutscher Titel: Die Jazz-Baronin
Herkunft: UK 2008
Laufzeit: 83 min.
Sprachfassung: Englische Originalfassung

Regie: Hannah Rothschild
Produzent: Hannah Rothschild, Nick Fraser (BBC)
Schnitt: Guy Crossman
Kamera: Hannah Rothschild
Musik: Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver, Barry Harris u.a.
Sprecher: Helen Mirren
Produktion: Clandestine Films, London; BBC Storyline

URL Film-Homepage:
Premierenstatus: Deutsche Erstaufführung

Der Film wurde nach der Programmauswahl durch das Globians Doc Fest Berlin von HBO zur Fernsehausstrahlung in den USA und von ARTE zur Fernsehausstrahlung in Frankreich und Deutschland angekauft.
Ein Sendetermin steht derzeit noch nicht fest.

Kurzinhalt: Die wahre Liebesgeschichte der Ponnonica Rothschild als weißer, jüdische Bankierserbin und dem Jazz-Genie Thelonious Monk im damaligen Zeitkontext von Rassenhass, Antisemitismus und der wilden Musik in New York City.

Film Excerpt | film intro: +

Englische Synopsis: The true story of a love affair between a white jewish heiress and the great Jazz genius Thelonious Monk set against the backdrop of racial hatred, anti semetism and wild music in New York. Helen Mirren is the voice of the Baroness, Quincy Jones, Sonny Rollins, TS Monk Junior, Clint Eastwood, The Duchess of Devonshire and other luminaries appear as themselves.

The Jazz Baroness (UK 2008) still | screen shot

Englische Werkbeschreibung: New York, 1956. Thelonious Monk sits at the piano in a secret smoke filled basement club, premiering a new tune. He starts, and then stops. Everyone waits. He clears his throat and starts again. To everyone’s astonishment, Monk, a man of few words, turns to the audience. “This one’s for the Baroness… Pannonica, a very dear friend of mine, a very special lady.” Pannonica, sitting at her usual corner table, smiles enigmatically as the new tune floats across the keys. But who was the Baroness? How did two people separated by colour, creed, culture and continent meet and fall in-love? Thelonious Monk was the son of cotton pickers from the deep South. Along with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie he was an architect of Beebop, the music that would empower a generation of young musicians and change harmony forever. Pannonica Rothschild, an heiress by birth, a baroness by marriage was born in 1913. Her grandfather was the first Jewish MP. The Balfour declaration, leading to the creation of the state of Israel, was written to her uncle. On her family estate in Tring exotic creatures including emus and giant tortoises populated the park. Her uncle Walter drove a trap pulled by four zebras. But Nica’s childhood was not quite the idyll it might sound. There was a propensity for depression in the family and the lives of Nica and her three siblings were blighted when their father committed suicide. As a young woman Nica attended a finishing school in Paris and studied art and aviation; she met her husband, Baron de Koenigswarter, through their mutual love of flying. The couple had five children. Her life should have been set, but the war broke out. News reached the family that their relations were being interned in camps. Nica and her husband joined the Free French in Africa determined to fight for the Resistance. There, she flew Lancaster bombers and drove ambulances. It was there she heard her first Charlie Parker record. Normal life would never be resumed. After the war, Nica left her family for New York in search of a new life. When Charlie Parker died in Nica's hotel suite in March 1955, it caused such a scandal that she was vilified in the tabloid press and stoned in the streets by racists. She had become an embarrassment to her estranged husband who won custody of their children. Nica took on jazz musicians in place of family. She used her inheritance as well as her dedication and energy to support them. Inherent in this passionate loyalty was a powerful indignation about the racism these black musicians encountered on a daily basis. And her response to this perhaps owed something to her own experiences of anti-Semitism, to the loss of family members during the Holocaust and to her involvement in the War. Nica was the inspiration for some of the most critically acclaimed bebop tunes – Art Blakey’s and Horace Silver’s Nica’s Dream, Nica’s Tempo by the Jazz Messengers, and Monk’s Bolivar Blues to name but a few – and up until her death in 1988, Nica would be sitting at the best table in any number of clubs, pouring whisky out of a flask disguised as a Bible. She died alone in a hospital room in 1988. All that remains are the songs and rare footage. Nica’s life spanned much of the twentieth century, her experiences of passion, motherhood, freedom and loss directly reflecting the great issues of the times: anti-Semitism; the Holocaust; desegregation in America; the women's movement. Nica's story takes place in the context of the biggest artistic movement of the century: Modernism; the settings range from the English countryside to old Europe to Africa to New York. How extraordinary that the money earned on the battlefields of Waterloo should, a century later, fund a generation of poor African American musicians. This ninety-minute documentary will explore one of the greatest love stories of the last century. Interviews with elusive musicians such as Sonny Rollins, Chico Hamilton and Roy Haynes will be intercut with extraordinary archive footage and family films. The soundtrack will feature twenty one songs written and recorded for Nica by including Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver and Barry Harris

The Jazz Baroness (UK 2008)

Director's Statement: I found her in my family tree, an unknown great-aunt, the Baroness Pannonica Rothschild. Who is she, I asked my father Jacob Rothschild? “She lives in New York,” but didn’t know anymore. Then there were the whispers, -she liked black men- -she flew Lancaster bombers in the war- junkie Charlie Parker died in her apartment- she abandoned her five children but lives with 306 cats- twenty great songs were written for her- she raced Miles Davis down Fifth Avenue. Everyone agreed on one thing: her great love, the man with whom she lived for ten years, for whom she went to prison was the resolutely individual high priest of bebop, Thelonious Monk. This 90-minute film follows my ten-year search to solve the puzzle of Pannonica told by those members of my family that will talk and the surviving musicians, many who don’t normally talk such as Sonny Rollins, Miriam Rothschild, Quincy Jones and Thelonious Monk’s son Toot. Helen Mirren plays the voice of the Baroness. The settings range from stately homes where she was born to the tiny house in New Jersey where she died, via the streets of Harlem, the battlefields of Africa and the gas chambers of Auschwitz, the prison in Delaware and the smartest hotels on Fifth Avenue. Threading contemporary footage with private and period archive and unreleased recordings, it tells the story of a century via a portrait of a heiress trained only for marriage who became a pioneering freedom fighter, feminist and social activist.

The Jazz Baroness (UK 2008)

Dieser Film aus dem Programm des Globians Doc Fest wird wiederholt und zwar am 23. September 2009 um 21.00 Uhr im Eiffelturm-Kino Berlin (im Centre Français de Berlin), Müllerstr. 74, U-Bahnhof Rehberge/Afrikanische Straße.

The Jazz Baroness (UK 2008) Director Hannah Rothschild

August 12 - 17, 2009
Kino Toni, Antonplatz

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