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Ornette: Made in America DVD

[vc_row gmbt_prlx_bg_type=”parallax” gmbt_prlx_break_parents=”99″ gmbt_prlx_smooth_scrolling=”gambit_parallax_enable_smooth_scroll” gmbt_prlx_video_mute=”” gmbt_prlx_video_force_hd=”” gmbt_prlx_opacity=”100″ gmbt_prlx_video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ gmbt_prlx_parallax=”up” gmbt_prlx_speed=”0.3″ gmbt_prlx_enable_mobile=”parallax-enable-mobile” gmbt_prlx_image=”6608″ gmbt_background_position=”top” full_width=”stretch_row”][vc_column width=”1/1″ css=”.vc_custom_1433529881516{padding-right: 240px !important;padding-left: 240px !important;}”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner el_class=”” width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”Ornette: Made in America” title_align=”separator_align_center” align=”align_center” color=”black” border_width=”9″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1433530044878{padding-right: 0px !important;padding-left: 0px !important;}”]MOVIE REVIEW
Ornette Coleman Ornette Made in America (1985)

By Janet Maslin
Published: February 21, 1986
SHIRLEY CLARKE’S ”Ornette: Made in America” is a hazy but inviting glimpse of the great modern jazz musician and his world. Miss Clarke’s methods tend to be as fanciful as Ornette Coleman’s are rigorous and abstract, but the collaboration between film maker and subject has its own kind of harmony. Mr. Coleman’s complexity remains far out of the film’s reach, as does his music; Miss Clarke seems chiefly intent on trailing Mr. Coleman and re-creating something of his aura, rather than detailing his life in any kind of narrative fashion. But the film’s vagueness never becomes damaging, perhaps because Mr. Coleman’s own presence is so subtly commanding.

”Ornette: Made in America,” opening today at the Public Theater, follows Mr. Coleman rather randomly through time and space. It is with him in Fort Worth for a performance of his ”Skies of America” with the Fort Worth Symphony, in Morocco for his 1973 expedition there, in Berkeley in 1969, and on Italian television in 1980. His music weaves unobtrusively through a series of interviews, conversational snippets and brief impressions, with commentary from sources as varied as Buckminster Fuller, William Burroughs, and the New York Times music critics John Rockwell and Robert Palmer (Mr. Palmer played clarinet with Mr. Coleman on the 1973 Moroccan venture).

Mr. Coleman’s relatives are also heard from, including his son, Denardo, who is now a member of his father’s band, Prime Time, and his sister, Truvenza Leach, who says, ”Ornette has always been different.” The few remarks from Mr. Coleman himself seem to bear that out, particularly the discussion of his plan, hatched several years ago, to undergo voluntary castration and rid his body of unwelcome sexual feelings. He settled for circumcision and sounds none the worse for wear.

Miss Clarke’s best material is her most straightforward; less successful are her attempts to fancify the footage and perhaps mimic some of Mr. Coleman’s musical effects. Images occasionally flash on and off the screen in a stroboscopic fashion that seems badly out of place. And the addition of little colored television sets around the faces of interviewees becomes similarly silly. So do scenes in which a small boy impersonates the lonely young Ornette outside the house where he spent his childhood. Mr. Coleman’s music and his mere presence convey a far stronger sense of his history than any such literal-minded imagery. Music Man ORNETTE: MADE IN AMERICA, directed by Shirley Clarke; director of photography, Ed Lachman; edited by Miss Clarke; music by Ornette Coleman; produced by Kathelin Hoffman; released by Caravan of Dreams Productions. At Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street. Running time: 85 minutes. This film is unrated. Young Ornette Coleman, Demon Marshall and Eugene Tatum


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