The Pleasures Of Being Out Of Step

Directed by David L Lewis. 87 minutes. Not Rated.

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Part of the Jazz À La Mode film series! Expert commentary by NEPR Jazz À La Mode Host Tom Reney.

Live jazz performance by pianist Paul Arlsanian and saxophonist Jason Robinson begins the evening!

THE PLEASURES OF BEING OUT OF STEP profiles legendary jazz writer and civil libertarian Nat Hentoff, whose career tracks the greatest cultural and political movements of the last 65 years. The film is about an idea as well as a man – the idea of free expression as the defining characteristic of the individual.

Hentoff is a pioneer who raised jazz as an art form and was present at the creation of ‘alternative’ journalism in this country. PLEASURES wraps the themes of liberty and identity around a historical narrative that stretches from the Great Depression to the Patriot Act. Brought to life by actor Andre Braugher, the narration doesn’t tell the story – it is the story, consisting entirely of writings by Hentoff and some of his subjects. With a potent mix of interviews, archival footage, photographs and music, the film employs a complex non-linear structure to engage the audience in a life of independent ideas and the creation of an enduring voice.

At the core of the film are three extraordinarily intimate interviews with Hentoff, shot by award-winning cinematographer Tom Hurwitz. The film also includes interviews with Floyd Abrams, Amiri Baraka, Stanley Crouch, Dan Morgenstern, Aryeh Neier, Karen Durbin, Margot Hentoff and John Gennari, among others. It features music by Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bob Dylan and Charles Mingus, and never-before-seen photographs of these artists and other cultural figures at the height of their powers.

Presented in collaboration with New England Public Radio.