Fellow Film Club Members & Movie Buffs:
Our Producer’s theme for May is: F is for Fake. E is for Essence.
One of the great things about our film club, is that we show a lot of documentaries; something that many/most other groups of film buffs fail to do. A good documentary at least has a modicum of truth & a swath of reality, history, & actual human interaction as its foundation.
As our nights warm up, & for each of us who are still awake “around midnight”, the cool dreamy shades of pure jazz is like the elixir, the essence of what will sustain us for that moment.
The Tacoma Film Club is really jazzed about screening one of the finest documentaries ever made, Bruce Weber’s LET’S GET LOST (1988).
Weber is an internationally successful fashion photographer, whose forte is black & white imagery. He met with Chet Baker in the mid-80’s and did a 3-day photo-shoot with him, that was going to be a three-minute film–something we are inundated with on YouTube presently. But Weber saw something in the aging Junkie jazz great, something he wanted to dig deeper into.
Weber had to spend a million dollars of his own money to make this film, a labor of love to be sure. It may not have ever recouped his investment, even though it is a critical success, and Art House favorite. He filmed it Orson Welles style, over a period of years, when he had the time, & some money to spend.
Weber has directed 11 films since 1987, all documentaries, which include BROKEN NOSES (1987), KING OF ADS (1991) CHOP SUEY (2001), A LETTER FOR TRUE (2004), & BEST OF CHRIS ISAAK (2006) [Weber is good friends with Isaak].
The cinematography was done by Jeff Preiss. He has lensed 7 films since 1984, three of which were with Bruce Weber, others include DER BIB (1984), DOLLY, LOTTE, & MARIA (1987), & SURVIVAL IN NEW YORK (1989). He has directed four films, including LOW DOWN (2014), MARIAH (1997), and several music videos.
The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary in 1989. It did well at Sundance, & won at the Venice Film Festival.
Rotten Tomatoes rated it at 96% Critic’s Approval, and 89% for the Audience Approval. IMDb rated it at 7.9 stars.
LET’S GET LOST (1988)
Directed by Bruce Weber @ 120 minutes.
The film stars Chet Baker, Carol Baker, & Vera Baker.
Synopsis: This an acclaimed documentary on the life & times of Mr. West Coast Cool, jazz trumpeter, Chet Baker. A mix of interviews with family & friends, & archival footage from the 50’s.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY wrote: “ A+ rating–Weber has created the only documentary that works like a novel, inviting you to read between the lines of Baker’s personality until you touch the secret sadness at the heart of his beauty.”
Desson Thomson of the WASHINGTON POST wrote: “Watching LET’S GET LOST, shot in liquid black & white, we get lost in a monocromal, gorgeously shot reverie about Chet Baker, the jazz trumpeter, whose alabaster-smooth pretty face, & plaintive tones broke hearts.”
Jon Monaghan of the DETROIT FRESS PRESS wrote: “There are moments, if you squint a little, where Baker becomes the ghost image of himself, the 50’s musical equivalent of James Dean.” Baker was routinely compared to a cross between James Dean & Jack Kerouac.
Jim Emerson of CHICAGO SUN TIMES wrote: “Chet Baker was an exemplar of West Coast cool, in an age when rapid fire be bop was hot, whose life, career, & face were ruined by his various addictions.”
David Parkinson of EMPIRE MAGAZINE wrote: “this simply is the finest jazz documentary ever made.”
Stephen Rhea of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER wrote: “Shot in the high contrast black and white, the hallmark of Weber’s still photography–this is well worth revisiting on the big screen.”
So mark your calendars for this Friday, May 6, 2016, & join the Tacoma Film Club for a screening of LET’ S GET LOST. It will be shown at the Center for Spiritual Living (CSL), the church building that we hold our events in, located at 206 North J Street in Tacoma.
Arrive early, around 6:30 pm, & join some of us downstairs in the kitchen area for fun, fellowship, & snacks. It is permitted to brings snacks & beverages to share with others. Please remember to clean up after yourselves before coming upstairs to enjoy the movie. No food or drinks is allowed in the sanctuary during the screening.
There will be a donation box near the entrance to the sanctuary. All collected funds will go to help pay the rent for the space, & other TFC expenses. Diane Jensen, the film club Director, will have the 2016 TFC membership cards with her for those of you who want to take out, or renew membership. At only $20.00 annually, it is still the best bargain in the entire South Sound. See you at the movies!