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"On the black screen of my sleepless nights, I make my own cinema...

Claude Nougaro, music by Michel Legrand.

The creator of Be-bop dance, Jano Merry, recounts the filming of Rendez-vous de Juillet, in 1944, and how his friend Django Reinhardt accompanied him to Saint-Germain-des-Prés for his aerobatics. Fabien Ruiz returns from the filming sessions for The Artist in Hollywood and offers us a real lesson in cinema. What is first, and why, music or image?
Bertrand Tavernier reminds us that without taking risks, there is no cinematographic art linked to jazz. Pierre-Yves Borgeaud reveals to us the intimate journey that led to the writing of Retour à Gorée, with the Dakar singer Youssou N’Dour. Other directors like Fabrice Radenac, or Frank Cassenti, discuss their creative process, the tensions and demands of filmed jazz writing, while recalling the economic issues of the cinematographic institution today. Louis Panassié recounts how, by adventure, he filmed the biggest names in jazz, while remaining outside the production circuits.

This book offers, in addition to these interviews and contributions from directors and entertainment professionals, articles dealing with the major questions posed by the act of filming jazz. There you will find the texts ofEmilie Souillot, Christian Béthune, Michel Chion, Anne-Marie Leclerc, Charles Bézanger, Sophie Jacotot and Jean-Jacques Sadoux."

(text by Thierry Maligne)

As part of Jazz conferences in Monségur organized by the festival "the 24 hours of swing" the Eléonore de Provence college in Monségur and the Michel de Montaigne University, Bordeaux 3, a study day entitled Filming jazz took place on Tuesday April 14, 2009. This was the opportunity to discover the documentary Jazz Adventure from Louis Panassié then to reflect together on the question of filming jazz, in the presence of specialists like Louis Panassié, Frank Cassenti, and Fabien Ruiz. Note that the latter has just spent 6 months teaching the art of tap dancing to the actor Jean Dujardin for the film The Artist (see the interview with the director, actors and many images from the film) by Michel Hazanavicius, nominated at Cannes for the Palme d'Or and Jean Dujardin received the prize for best actor, a first for him. Fabien Ruiz explains in an article in Sud Ouest, that “this film, and especially the finale since it is there that Jean Dujardin tap dances, will perhaps relaunch this artistic practice. » Fabien Ruiz adjusts: “It was extremely popular between 1930 and 1942. Like hip-hop today, on the street corners of New York or other cities. People who could not afford the right shoes attached beer caps with a nail to the bottom of the shoes they had. » We will find the internationally renowned tap dancer in the book Filming Jazz.

Under the direction of Thierry Maligne, teacher of Modern Literature at the University of Bordeaux 1, the book Filmer le jazz will be released on May 31, 2011. Following a call for contributions, I had the chance to participate in this first work dealing with of the question of filming jazz or how to film it, can we film it. I took up a passage from my dissertation (master 2 cinema research under the direction of Rémi Fontanel, professor and researcher in cinema at the University of Lyon2) entitled Jazz and documentary where my problem was how to film jazz? I had no documents to rely on apart from the quantity of documentary films I had seen (around fifty) which allowed me to have the first clues to try to answer this question. This is where I was able to discover the director Frank Cassenti who is very attached to jazz. He made numerous films such as L'Affiche rouge released in 1975 which traces the history of the Manouchian group 22 men executed on February 21, 1944 on Mont Valérien (this film received the Jean Vigo prize). He makes documentaries on jazz with the pianist Michel Petrucciani, the trumpeter Miles Davis, and the saxophonist Archie Shepp. Subsequently, he created a production company Oléo Films focused on jazz which devotes most of its activity to the production of heritage films intended for the international market: documentaries, portraits of musicians and recordings of concerts.


Filming Jazz, collective work, under the direction of Thierry Maligne, Editions presses universitaire de Bordeaux, 2011, Paperback, 15 x 21, 270 p., €21.

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