Round Midnight

Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Year Released: 1986
Rating: 2.0

Would have made an amazing concert film, as Tavernier really captures the down-and-out-mood of the jazz underworld, but I was distracted by the fact that it's an actual film, and that there's actually an attempt at subplots and "intellectual" substance. As gifted as Dexter Gordon is with his tenor sax, the film creeps to a halt and becomes awkward whenever he has something to say (think W. S. Burroughs in Drugstore Cowboy); hell, all conversations are pretty awkward and underwritten for that matter (most of the cast consists of nonprofessionals). The attempts at sentimentalism fail - Gordon's vague mumblings regarding his own demise, Francois Cluzet watching his own home movies of Gordon. Tavernier unwisely equates New York City with artistic and physical death (versus France with artistic and physical growth).