Round Midnight (film)

Round Midnight (film)

name = Round Midnight

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Bertrand Tavernier
producer = Irwin Winkler
writer = David Rayfiel (screenplay)
Bertrand Tavernier (screenplay)
Colo Tavernier (French translation)
starring = Dexter Gordon
François Cluzet
Gabrielle Haker
music = Herbie Hancock (original music)
distributor = Warner Bros.
released = September 12, 1986 (Toronto Film Festival)
runtime = 133 min.
language = English
imdb_id = 0090557
budget =

"Round Midnight" is a 1986 film directed by Bertrand Tavernier that tells the story of an African American tenor saxophone player in Paris in the 1950s who becomes befriended by an unsuccessful French graphic designer who idolizes the musician and tries to help him to get out of his life of alcohol abuse. The protagonist jazzman, "Dale Turner," was based on a composite of real-life jazz legends Lester Young (tenor sax) and the tortured and enigmatic Bud Powell (piano). In fact, while much of the film is fictionalized, it is drawn directly from the memoir/biography "Dance of the Infidels" written by Francis Paudras, who in real life befriended Bud Powell during his Paris expatriate days and on whom the character "Francis" is based.

The tone of the film is wistful and tragic as it follows Turner's struggle as an artist creating incredible beauty, but destroying himself with alcoholism, and the desperate attempts of his friend to save him. Tavernier defied the movie studio by insisting that real-life jazz tenor sax great Dexter Gordon (who himself played with Bud Powell in Paris in the 1950s) play the role of Turner. (He also helped to revise and rewrite the script.) The supporting cast is likewise composed of real jazz musicians such as Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, John McLaughlin, Wayne Shorter, Pierre Michelot, Eric Le Lann, and others who play the music live throughout the film. The result is an authentic portrait that captures the Paris jazz scene of the 1950s, along with a stellar soundtrack (released in two parts as the official soundtrack "Round Midnight" and "The Other Side of Round Midnight" under Gordon's name).

The movie stars Dexter Gordon, François Cluzet, Gabrielle Haker, Sandra Reaves-Phillips, Lonette McKee, Christine Pascal and Herbie Hancock. Filmed in Paris and New York, the movie was written by David Rayfiel and Bertrand Tavernier.

It won the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Score (won by Herbie Hancock) and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Dexter Gordon).

External links

*imdb title|id=0090557|title=Round Midnight

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