jazz movie writing assignment

Option 2: Movie Review

View one of the movies listed below, or any other fictionalized film about the life of a jazz musician (not a live concert, documentary, or satire). Write a 750 word minimum essay contextualizing the movie within the matrix of concepts, personalities, and music examined in this course. In general, think of this essay as a “critical analysis” in which you need to explain any personal opinions that you assert. Please address the following points:
• Give a brief (1 paragraph) biographical sketch of the principal character/musician.

• Socially and musically, how is the principal character portrayed?

• What historical phase of the development of jazz does the principal character belong to?
• How does the life and music of the principal character reflect the issues we’ve examined in relation to that historical phase?

• Describe the narrative of the film. How does the story unfold? – This is the core of you movie review.

Possible movies:

  • Young Man with a Horn (about Bix Beiderbeck) 1949
  • The Glen Miller Story (1953)
  • The Benny Goodman Story (1955)
  • The Five Pennies (about Red Nichols) 1959
  • Lady Sings the Blues (about Billie Holliday) 1972
  • Round Midnight (about Dexter Gordon) 1986
  • Bird (about Charlie Parker) 1988
  • The Mambo Kings (about the Castillo brothers) 1992
  • Sweet and Lowdown (about Emmet Ray) 1999
  • For Love or Country (about Arturo Sandoval) 2001
  • Ray (about Ray Charles) 2004
  • De-lovely (about Cole Porter) 2004
  • El Cantate (about Hector Lavoe) 2007
  • Bolden! (about Buddy Bolden) 2015
  • Miles Ahead (about Miles Davis) 2015
  • Born to be Blue (about Chet Baker) 2016