Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Get the Sweet and Lowdown at Ragtag, 1/14/10

Ragtag Cinema is showing Woody Allen's classic Sweet and Lowdown (1999) this Thursday evening as part of the We Always Swing Jazz Series' Body and Soul: Jazz on Film. The film starts at 7:00; tickets are $8 ($4 for students).

Despite living above a Woody Allen enthusiast in Chicago for several years and borrowing most of his Woody Allen DVDs at one time or another, I never saw this one. Sweet and Lowdown is the swing-era story of Emmet Ray (Sean Penn), a fictional jazz virtuoso with a stormy personal life involving alcoholism, gangsters, a mute girlfriend (Samantha Morton), and an heiress wife (Uma Thurman). It's been called a tribute to Fellini's La Strada (1954).

I don't know much about the film except that Penn's character idolizes Django Reinhardt, and I happen to love me some gypsy jazz. I don't know if I'll make it to the show Thursday, but it sounds like a good way to spend a weeknight and also check out some Howard Alden, who plays the music in the film.

Even better, if you show up at 6:30, you can hear live music from Django's Tiger.

Interesting fact: Django Reinhardt's third and fourth fingers were badly burned in a caravan fire when he was 18, leaving them partially paralyzed. I couldn't resist sticking a Django video in here.

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