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3.9
197 Ratings

The Connection

Directed by Shirley Clarke
United States, 1961
Drama, Crime

Synopsis

The film shows a group of drug-addict musicians waiting for their “connection” in a New York apartment while a two-man documentary team films the proceedings.

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The Connection Directed by Shirley Clarke
At the core of the movie is the question of why modern jazz seemed inseparable from drugs; whether the music’s fusion of fury and intricacy, of intellectual complexity and daring self-revelation, of spiritual insight and streetwise experience—all arising from the distinctive pathos of black-American life—is bound to self-destructive abnegation, and whether, if it’s true of jazz, it’s true of modern art at large.
January 01, 2016
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Clarke’s raging, tickling lyricism (edited by her own hand) brings out the explosive honesty and stealthy compassion in Jack Gelber’s screenplay (adapted from his own stage play). There is an indictment of a whole way of life stitched in there, and I’m not talking about the junkie way of life. I’m talking about the square, judgmental, blinders-on way of life that was Hollywood’s specialty at the time.
April 13, 2015
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The Connection remains my favourite Clarke film, even though it may also be the most dated (apart from the wonderful music), because it remains my key memento of three of the best nights I ever spent in a theatre, during the play’s initial run. It was so quintessentially theatrical as well as confrontational that no film could approximate it—which is why the film remains so theatrical (in an unfortunate way) in spite of all of Clarke’s ingenuity in adapting it.
March 26, 2015
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