Tuesday, June 1, 2010

DVD of the Month - "Chet Baker: Let's Get Lost"

DVD of the Month
Chet Baker: "Let's Get Lost" - HD French issue (Wild Side)

A marvelous gift from my dreamgirl Lisa Marie. After the issue released in UK, here comes the "new definitive" issue of "Let's Get Lost," the one-of-a-kind bittersweet splendid documentary by the superphotographer Bruce Weber about jazz legend Chet Baker. Hip & sad, cool & somber, it received an Academy Award Oscar nomination for "Best Documentary" and won the Critic's Prize at the Venice Film Festival.

Now released in France as a 2-DVD + 1-CD deluxe package, it includes the complete movie remastered in High Definition (DVD 1) plus a second DVD titled "Les Compléments," with a making-of ("À la recherche de Chet Baker"), 8mm footage archives by Jeff Preis, 2 Chet videoclips directed by Weber ("Everything Happens To Me" and "Almost Blue"), plus the short films "Tromba Fredda" ("Cold Trumpet," directed by Enzo Nasso in 1963, featuring Chet Baker both as an actor - no words spoken - and as the composer of the soundtrack completely improvised, including uncompannied trumpet solos only, except for a final theme played with an acoustic guitarist) and Bruce Weber's "The Teddy Boys of the Edwardian Drape Society" (1996).

It's also interesting to mention that the soundtrack from "À La Recherche de Chet Baker," a kind of making-of narrated by Weber, includes an "unknown bossa nova" written by Antonio Carlos Jobim (no, it's not "Absolute Lee") and ends with the haunting ballad "So Hard To Know," co-written by Brazilian composer/keyboardist Rique Pantoja and lyricist Roxanne Seeman, but credited only to Roxanne on the DVD.

There's also a bonus CD with two previously unreleased tracks from the "Let's Get Lost" sessions that took place in LA back in 1987: the French standard "C'Est Si Bon" and John William's "Make Me Rainbows" (a jazzy theme from the 1967 "Fitzwilly" soundtrack, his first collaboration with lyricists Alan & Marilyn Bergman) on which Chet was backed by Frank Strazzeri (piano), John Leftwich (bass), Ralph Penland (the uncredited drummer on "Make Me Rainbows") & Rob Kyle (tenor sax, overdubbed in 2008).

All this material is packed in a wonderful book with gorgeous pics by Weber and William Claxton plus "new" texts (in French) by Weber and Herbie Hancock. Actually, Herbie's text is basically the same he wrote for the "Let's Get Lost" soundtrack CD released by RCA/Novus.

Once again I felt deeply moved watching this brilliant film once again; not only because I've been a big fan of Chet since my childhood, but also because I had the chance to meet him in person (and hang out with him!) back in 1985, when he went to Rio for the first Free Jazz Festival. On that occasion, the myth patiently autographed many LPs and CDs from my Chet Baker collection. I remember how surprised he became when I told that "She Was Too Good To Me" and "Studio Trieste" were some of my favorites, 'cause both were among his favorite albums too.

Through this film I also became aware of the most beautiful and fascinating woman I've ever known, the eternally bewitching Lisa Marie (now Lisa Marie Smith and a dear friend in LA).
Lisa dancing on "Let's Get Lost" opening sequence:
Compléments : (tous au format 4/3)

À la recherche de Chet Baker: (24'24 - v.o.s.t.) "Looking (again) for Chet (in all the familiar places)", making of narré en voix-off sur des rush pour la plupart absents du film.
Les archives du tournage de Jeff Preiss : (5'06) montage de très courtes et diverses séquences accessoires.
Tromba Fredda: (14'00 - qualité tech. moyenne) étrange court métrage de fiction avec C. Baker dans le rôle principal.
The Teddy Boys of the Edwardian Drape Society : (1996 - 4'19) documentaire de B. Weber sur cette sous-culture rock britannique.
Clips: illustrés par des extraits du film.
"Everything Happens To Me" (3'40)
"Almost Blue" (3'47)
A propos de B. Weber: biographie et note de production du film.

No comments: