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“The Cool World”, by Shirley Clarke

Janeiro 26, 2010

The Cool World” (1964, USA), Directed by Shirley Clarke
Screenplay by Clarke, Carl Lee
From the novel by Warren Miller
Music by Mal Waldron
With Hampton Clanton • Yolanda Rodriguez • Carl Lee

A black teenager robs, brawls, and peddles dope on the mean streets of Harlem, dreaming of walking tall with his gang, the Royal Pythons, and his idol, a hipster-pusher named Priest. Produced by Frederick Wiseman, Clarke’s raw, vital film is a landmark of American independent cinema—the critic Albert Johnson called it “a tone poem of the slums”—blending ragged storytelling with documentary-style location shooting, improvisation by a cast of nonprofessionals (Lee and Clarke recruited the toughest kids in Harlem’s settlement houses, social clubs, and schools), and Mal Waldron‘s bluesy bop score, in which he is accompanied by the powerhouse lineup of Dizzy Gillespie, Yusef Lateef, Aaron Bell, and Art Taylor.

2 comentários leave one →
  1. groove68 permalink
    Janeiro 27, 2010 14:41

    Watch Shirley Clarke’s final film, ORNETTE: MADE IN AMERICA at


    • MCS permalink*
      Janeiro 27, 2010 15:05

      Great suggestion! Thank you.


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