Friday's screening is preceded by a conversation with Amy Heller, cofounder of Milestone Films; and Garth Jowett, jazz buff and professor at University of Houston
Both the Friday and Sunday screenings are preceded by Shirley Clarke’s experimental short film "Bridges Go Round" (1958), which features a jazz score by Teo Macero.
Originally banned in New York for its subject matter and language, this unconventional debut feature from filmmaker Shirley Clarke is now regarded as a staple of the New American Cinema. Based on a play by Jack Gelber of the Living Theatre, The Connection centers on junkies waiting for their dealer in a Greenwich Village loft and features jazz musicians Freddie Redd and Jackie McLean. Shown here in a beautiful new 35mm print, this rarely seen film from one of the greatest female directors has never looked better.
‘‘Right now, I’m revolting against the conventions of movies. Who says a film has to cost a million dollars and be safe and innocuous enough to satisfy every 12-year-old in America? . . . We’re creating a movie equivalent of Off-Broadway, fresh and experimental and personal. The lovely thing is that I’m alive at just the time when I can do this.’’ —Shirley Clarke, 1962
"The Connection" was preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding by the Film Foundation.
For the past 23 years, Milestone Films cofounder Amy Heller has worked with her husband and partner, Dennis Doros, to discover new and old films, restore them when needed, and release them in the best versions possible. Milestone's long-term project to reintroduce audiences to American indie pioneer Shirley Clarke has culminated in the restoration of three films: The Connection, Ornette: Made in America, and Portrait of Jason.
For more than 30 years, Garth Jowett has been a professor of communication, specializing in both film and propaganda studies, at the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication at the University of Houston. He has been an avid jazz fan and scholar since he was 12. In Houston his jazz radio show The Sounds of Jazz has been heard since 1979, starting on KUHF-FM, and then moving to KTRU-FM and now KPFT-FM.