13-24 nov 2024
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The Connection

The Connection

Shirley Clarke
United States
1961
103 min
n.a.
Focus: Fabrications
Synopsis

Eight junkies play jazz music together in a seedy New York apartment, while they wait for their dealer to arrive. All the while, pretentious filmmaker Jim Dunn, played by William Redfield, is trying to shoot a documentary about these drugged-up men. In this provocative feature, director Shirley Clarke treads the line between documentary and fiction to poke fun at cinema verité. Hothead Dunn exhorts the men to act naturally, saying, “I’m just trying to make an honest human document.”

The Connection (1961) was to become one of the most influential works of US independent cinema, with its restless camerawork, improvised dialogues, and understated jazz score by pianist Freddie Redd and sax legend Jackie McLean. Clarke’s raw approach captures both the bebop-infused counterculture of the early 1960s and the feelings of disillusionment.

The director’s subversive reworking of Jack Gelber’s eponymous play, featuring actors from Living Theater, was immediately banned for its use of obscene language. Despite Clarke winning the ensuing two-year legal battle, the film went unseen for many years.

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Credits
103 min
color / black and white
DCP
Spoken languages: English
Director
    Shirley Clarke
    Shirley Clarke
Production
    Allen-Hodgdon Productions,
    Lewis Allen,
    Shirley Clarke
    Allen-Hodgdon Productions,
    Lewis Allen,
    Shirley Clarke
Cinematography
    Arthur J. Ornitz
    Arthur J. Ornitz
Editing
    Shirley Clarke
    Shirley Clarke
Music
    Freddie Redd
    Freddie Redd
Screenplay
    Jack Gelber
    Jack Gelber
Screening copy
    Kino Lorber, Inc.
    Kino Lorber, Inc.

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More from the program section Focus: Fabrications
Fabrications investigates the image of truth often associated with documentaries. With a selection of films, we probe the difference between reality and realism and look at how films attempt to address this through a deliberate mix of fiction and documentary technique.Focus: Fabrications is supported by Vfonds.
View program section
A Band of Dreamers and a Judge

A Band of Dreamers and a Judge

Hesam Eslami
2023
84 min