A Memorable Look of Cool
Thinking a lot about jazz and visuality these days as I get deeper into my ongoing book manuscript. I've had a love-hate relationship with Spike Lee's Mo' Better Blues (1990) for a long time now, mostly due to its, um, predictable rehearsal of many of the worst tropes about jazz and masculinity. (Spike, but for very few examples, has never written male-female relationships well, to say the least--) Nevertheless, the director is a visual master, and this sequence might be my favorite of the film's various musical performance moments. Denzel channels the best of mid-century post-bop cool here.