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Ornette Coleman documentary getting re-released

Posted 4:25pm on Thursday, Aug. 02, 2012

Below is the trailer for director Shirley Clarke's Ornette: Made in America. Unless you're somewhat of an Ornette Coleman obsessive, it's entirely possible you've never heard of and/or seen the film, but this 1985 documentary/concert film/free-form biography hybrid does an admirable job attempting to explain the man and his music, which defies easy categorization.

Clarke and her collaborators captured footage around the world, but particularly here at home, when Coleman returned in 1983 to perform at the grand opening of the dearly departed Caravan of Dreams. It's striking to see, not only a younger Coleman, but also moving images of Fort Worth from nearly 30 years ago. What hasn't changed, of course, is Coleman's determination to share his vision of harmolodics with everyone he encounters.

From what I can gather from some cursory research, the film has been out of circulation for quite some time (Clarke died in 1997), and independent distributor Milestone Films is helping restore it to prominence with a newly remastered print, which will begin screening Aug. 31 in New York City at the IFC Center. No word yet on local screenings, but perhaps the Modern or the Texas Theatre will snag a print to screen. Now, if only someone would see fit to actually book Coleman to play somewhere ...

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