Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Robert Drew

On the Road with Duke Ellington
(1967) by Robert Drew showcases Drew's bravura observational filmmaking style. Unlike more recent music documentaries, this film steers clear of archival footage and photographs in favor of long verite sequences with dated voice-over narration. The day that Duke Ellington received an honorary degree at Yale (third still) is shown at length, for example, while we hear nothing of Ellington's innovative early years and classic recordings. The film leaves an overall impression of a sad and perhaps lonely man, endlessly smoking and feeling underappreciated. Above, Duke Ellington with arranger Billy Strayhorn and Louis Armstrong.
Creative Commons License
Documentary Starts Here by Nancy Kalow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.