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Paris Blues (12A) (35mm)

Part of EFG London Jazz Fest: Jazz and the City

Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll in Paris Blues

A portrait of 1960s Paris, Paris Blues centres around two jazz musicians (Sidney Poitier and Paul Newman) living in self-imposed exile from the US.

The iconic leads are magnificent, supported by Joanne Woodward and Diahann Carroll, and the film benefits from a superb soundtrack composed by the great Duke Ellington, featuring a notable supporting performance from the legendary Louis Armstrong as well as an appearance by jazz pianist Aaron Bridgers.

Screening from a 35mm print, the film serves as a snapshot to a particular period where Paris provided a refuse for artists and would become an important site for African American jazz musicians across the 1920s and the ensuing decades. Through the figures of Poitier, Armstrong, Bridgers and Carroll, these legacies are channelled as the film alludes to the racism of the United States they had sought to leave behind.

US 1961 Dir Martin Ritt 98 min 35 mm

 

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