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Jazzy trailer for silent film: LOUIS

GATW Guest Writer

by: GATW Guest Writer
July 20th, 2010

I don't know much in the way of silent films. Of course the classics: GREAT AMERICAN TRAIN ROBBERY, Works of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, things of the like. If there's one thing I'm fairly certain of it's the bittersweet truth that the silent movie is dead. Hollywood has discovered bigger and better ways to tell stories and now those ways are they only way people will see movies. Big and flashy. Well now, as if from the grave, the silent film has re-emerged. And it is called LOUIS.

Today, thanks to the ladies and gentlemen over at Apple.com, the trailer for LOUIS was released. The film stars the drop-dead gorgeous Shanti Lowry, Anthony Coleman and (shockingly enough) Jackie Earle Haley as the films villain. Obviously, I cannot speak to the film's successes, but the trailer does a wonderful job in showing the New Orleans of that time (1907). Big band jazz had only been around for a few years at this point, and was taking the world, or more specifically, the USA, by storm. Check out the trailer here!

Shot by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond as a modern re-imagining of early silent film, LOUIS is an homage to Louis Armstrong, Charlie Chaplin, beautiful women and the birth of American music.The grand Storyville bordellos, alleys and cemeteries of 1907 New Orleans provide a backdrop of lust, blood and magic for 6 year old Louis (Anthony Coleman) as he navigates the colorful intricacies of life in the city. Young Louis's dreams of playing the trumpet are interrupted by a chance meeting with a beautiful and vulnerable girl named Grace (Lowry) and her baby, Jasmine. Haley, in a performance reminiscent of the great comic stars of the silent screen, plays the evil Judge Perry who is determined not to let Jasmine's true heritage derail his candidacy for governor.

As is obvious in the trailer, Haley draws a lot in his performance from the aforementioned silent stars, and he does it well. The film, silent in composition, is making tours with it's band around the country come late August. The band, including jazz greats like Wynton Marsalis and Cecile Licad as well as a full 10 part jazz ensemble, perform live, alongside the movie.

Unfortunately, there aren't any stops anywhere near me, but be sure to check this out if you're in any of the tour cities. Chicago, Detroit, Maryland, New York and Philidelphia are the lucky ones this time around. Hopefully (though doubtfully) the film will stumble onto an eccentric jazz-lover somewhere, who's willing to send it to Colorado. Fingers crossed!

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