Ornette: Made In America captures performer and composer Ornette Coleman’s evolution over three decades.
Documentary footage, dramatic scenes and some of the first music video-style segments ever made chronicle Coleman’s boyhood in segregated Texas and his subsequent emergence as an American cultural pioneer and world-class icon. Those who contribute to the film include William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Buckminster Fuller, Don Cherry, Yoko Ono, Charlie Haden, Robert Palmer, Jayne Cortez and John Rockwell.
Ornette: Made in America is essential for anyone hoping to understand the history of jazz and the fertile creative exchange that highlighted the 60s and 70s in America. It is a portrayal of the inner life of an artist-innovator.
The innovative techniques that director Shirley Clarke and producer Kathelin Hoffman employed in this film very closely parallel the music of the man who is its subject. Clarke defied traditional documentary formats to reveal Ornette’s extraordinary vision through her equally extraordinary filmmaking artistry. Critically acclaimed when it released in 1985, the film is even more significant today, as Coleman’s influence has increased, while Clarke and Hoffman’s interpretation of his life and times remain as fresh and exciting as ever.