Part of Music City Mondays
In December 1969, legendary jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk ended his European concert tour with a performance at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. Before the show, he was invited to appear on a French television program to perform and answer questions in an intimate setting. Using newly discovered footage from this recording, director Alain Gomis (FÉLICITÉ) reveals the disconnect between Monk and his interviewer, Henri Renaud, whose unwittingly trivializing approach conveys the casual racism and exploitation prevalent in the music industry at large. A fascinating behind-the-scenes documentary with extraordinary rarely-seen performances, REWIND & PLAY offers a unique opportunity to see Monk in a way that very few people did.
“A minor masterwork of historical investigation and a fervent tribute to the epochally great musician Thelonious Monk.” —Richard Brody, New Yorker
“Gomis emphasizes the uneasiness of the interview with harsh cuts, artificial breathing and rowdy noise dissonances. He creates an uneasy feeling, a repetitiveness to the circus that Monk has to go through.” —Susanne Gottlieb, Cineuropa
“Having the onlooker marinade in the uncomfortable silences of the raw footage with very little in the form of voice-over narrator, Gomis is adamant that ‘I’m not supposed to tell you what you have to think. It’s an immersive experience. You’re in the presence of Thelonius Monk for one hour.’” —Thinus Ferreira, Variety