Montreal's Musée des beaux arts has just announced that Miles Davis will be featured next summer in a big exhibition of his life and times. Among the things will be videos of his performances as well as presentations of one of the greatest film noir of all time, Louis Malle's 1957 debut film, Acenseur pour l'échafaud, or Elevator to the Scaffold. I don't know what to think of these exhibitions which cater to popular culture--some of them are great fun--but they certainly seem to bring in the crowds who may also take advantage of the Musée's permanent collection to widen their horizons. Is this dumbing down the museum experience, or simply building an audience?
Whatever, I'm looking forward to the Miles Davis show. To while away the time, here's the YouTube clip of him playing while a lovely Jeanne Moreau wanders around Paris thinking that her lover has betrayed her.
And while we're talking about French film and jazz, here's a tribute to Round Midnight, directed by Bernard Tavernier. It takes place in the 1950s, too, but was made in 1986. Dexter Gordon plays an African American jazzman, a character based on the lives of Lester Young and Bud Powell. Gordon was nominated for an Oscar the trumpet-player musician while Herbie Hancock,, who also played with jazzmen Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, John McLaughlin, Wayne Shorter, Pierre Michelot, and Eric Le Lann in the film, won for Best Music, Original Score.
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About the reviewer
Mary Soderstrom is a Montreal-based writer of fiction and non-fiction. Her new collection of short stories, Desire Lines: Stories of Love and Geography, will be published by Oberon Press in November, … more
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