In 1958, celebrated photographer Bert Stern was inspired by a friend to "take some pictures" of the Newport Jazz Festival. Following a turn of events, Stern decided to produce a full-fledged motion picture. It would become his only film.
By breaking many cinematic taboos, Stern recreated the look of his still photography into motion with a dazzling display of rich human observation and some of the most remarkable scenes of live jazz ever brought to the screen. When it premiered at the Venice Film Festival, rumors of an American "New Wave" swirled.
Although the principle emphasis of Jazz on a Summer's Day is on the performances of such legendary artists as Louis Armstrong, Anita O'Day, Mahalia Jackson and Thelonious Monk, Stern's camera also fills us with illuminating images of America at its best. Whether it's a bird's eye view of the rich in their yachts or young lovers from Brooklyn on a tour of Newport's picturesque streets and beaches, this is more than just a jazz film, it's the film of an era.
85 min., Unrated
Produced and Directed by
In Charge of Production
Script and Continuity
JOHN B. WELSH