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Top Customer Reviews
Many reviewers said it's overly dark. Yep. Jazz musicians spend most of their time in dark smoke-filled nightclubs. So does BIRD. This is a great MOOD PIECE. It could also be called FILM NOIR.
Many said it doesn't establish why Charlie Parker was one of the greats of Jazz. In one particularly brilliant scene of writing in this film, Parker is talking about himself and the legend of BIRD to Red Rodney, partner in Jazz and fellow heroin addict. He talks about "going inside the melody" of Cherokee, a song he had played many times and was tired of doing. Parker decides to go around the melody with little notes and discovers his style. Thus, a whole new form of music called Be Bop is born. A superb scene.
Many reviewers said it dwelt too heavily on the negative aspects of Parker's drug abuse. This is true. However, heroin played a significant part in early Jazz music in this country. Heavily significant. A majority of the best and brightest Jazz stars were plagued by addiction for many years. Read Miles Davis' autobiography. He lists them all. Eastwood recognizes this in a scene where Parker is in Paris and is debating whether to return to the States. A fellow sideman is trying convince him to stay in France where he can make a decent living. SIDEMAN: "You can't make no living playing Jazz in the States." BIRD: "Dizz can. Duke can." SIDEMAN: "Well you ain't Dizz. And you certainly ain't Duke." BIRD: "So I kick." The Sideman laughs uproariously. BIRD: "I can kick." The Sideman laughs harder.Read more ›
Charlie Parker was a tortured soul whose musicianship was so powerful that he was able to teach himself a virtuoso style of playing jazz alto saxophone that has influenced nearly every alto-sax player since. Certainly, anyone with pretensions to playing bebop jazz. The film captures his difficult beginnings, his powerful rise and artistry, his terrible drug addictions (and how this also provided an unfortunate influence on others), and his early, far too early, death.
There is the sound of his playing throughout the movie, but it is in short snippets. We get more over the closing credits. But we get enough to remember what is special and unique about his playing. Everyone talks about his speed and harmonic variety. All that is there, certainly. However, there is also so much in Parker's commitment to what he is singing through his horn that allows us to feel the music in a way that was unique to him. Without that ability to reach into the heart of an audience, no amount of virtuosity can keep an audience for generations. Parker is still winning new fans every day and that is his greatest legacy. This film is a nice tribute to him. It is just so sad that he got onto such a self destructive path and the only way off for him was to die at 34.
Forrest Whitaker played a superb role (the best of his career to date) with this acting . The photography ; the shot angles , the painful script which never falls in the melodrama soap . Eastwood reveals with a supreme maestry his masterful technique as atmosphere creator . Since he was obviously a hard fan of Parker , he left for the eternity this deep insight to the emotional mood of Charlie who died so young (34) and whose early loss still shocks the world jazz . Can you imagine the glorious solo between Bird and Miles Davis for instance with Bill Evans at the piano? . Too beauty to be true , indeed .
Thanks Mr . Eastwood for your double rendition ; to Jazz world and the Cinema .
It is useless to recommend the soundtrack of that film .
Do you know another Laura version which can match with this one ?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The focus of this story is primarily Bird's marriage and how the heroin and alcohol use affected his home life. Read morePublished 19 days ago by mr. contrarian
He's the greatest! So cool getting a glimpse into what his life was like.Published 1 month ago by Adam
Amazing movie and music: you can't beat Bird. Powerful ending. Highly recommended!Published 3 months ago by Carlos A.
Great film. A "must have" if you're a jazz fan. Great acting and Clint Eastwood really did a good job on this. Read morePublished 3 months ago by davequ
I'm not sure where Clint Eastwood was while this movie was being shot and edited, but it's hard to believe he was paying his usual close attention. Read morePublished 3 months ago by J. L. Troise