In December 1969, Thelonious Monk arrived in Paris for a concert at the tail end of a European tour. While there, the legendary jazz pianist was invited to appear on a television interview program, where he would perform and answer questions in an intimate, one-on-one studio stage. Using newly discovered footage from the recording of the interview, versatile French-Senegalese filmmaker Alain Gomis (whose dazzling music-tinged drama Félicité played in NYFF’s Main Slate in 2017) reveals the troubling dynamic between Monk and his white interviewer, Henri Renaud, and how Monk stands his ground despite being antagonized by Renaud’s trivializing approach. Gomis’s gripping film is a fascinating behind-the-scenes documentary; a subtle yet searing exposé of casual racism; and, above all, a chance to see one of the monumental geniuses of 20th-century music at work.
Little Richard: I Am Everything
Film Director Lisa Cortés’ eye-opening documentary explodes the whitewashed canon of American pop music