Jonathan Rosenbaum | Festival on Wheels 2015

Festival on Wheels’ advisor and Bilkent University’s Communication and Design Department’s chair Ahmet Gurata introduces Rosenbaum as a “legendary name” in the movie business. Rosenbaum, as the guest of honor for the 21. Festival on Wheels in Ankara, teamed up with another movie critic, from a younger generation, Ehsan Khoshbakht to construct the content for the section titled as “Jazz Goes to the Movies”. The due also presented the selection which aims to bring two different arts forms together. The U.S. Embassy Ankara was the main sponsor for this event.

Jazz Goes to the Movies

Cinema and jazz represent two distinct art forms that developed and came of age in the 20th century. The relationship between them has its origins in the live music accompanists of the silent era. That the very first talkie was The Jazz Singer (Alan Crosland, 1927) is no coincidence. After all, it was only natural for the most popular music genre of the day to make its mark on cinema.

Jazz Goes to the Movies focuses on the cultural and aesthetic relationship between the image and this genre of music during different periods. Be prepared for an adventurous journey that will take you from the black musicians who had a hard time keeping themselves behind the movie screen to the white actors who blackened their faces. As well as shorts showcasing live performances and tour footage, the section features two important fiction films, each built around a musician character. Made possible with the support of the US Embassy, Jazz Goes to the Movies is curated by Jonathan Rosenbaum, formerly head film critic of the Chicago Reader, and the critic, film historian, jazz scholar and architect, Ehsan Khoshbakht.

Intended for film and music fans alike, the line-up includes: Too Late Blues (John Cassavates, 1961), Pete Kelly’s Blues (Jack Webb, 1955), Cab Calloway’s Hi-De-Ho (Fred Waller, 1934), Black and Tan Fantasy (Dudley Murphy, 1929), Big Ben: Ben Webster in Europe (Johan van der Keuken, 1966), Begone Dull Care (Norman McLaren, 1949), When It Rains (Charles Burnett, 1995) and Jammin’ the Blues (Gjon Mili, 1944). Rosenbaum and Khoshbakht will be on hand to present the section.

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