50 Years of the New York Film Festival

NYFF ‘88: Bird

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NYFF ‘88: Bird
Clint Eastwood, 1988
USA | Format: 35mm | 161 minutes

One of Clint Eastwood’s most ambitious films--and his first to be selected for NYFF--drew upon its director’s long-time passion for jazz to tell the highly personal and deeply evocative biography of the great saxophonist Charlie “Yardbird” Parker. Named Best Actor by the Cannes Film Festival, Forest Whitaker gives a powerful and touching performance as Bird—a man who created extraordinarily complex and beautiful music while wrestling with his addiction to drugs and alcohol—while Diane Venora is every bit as affecting as Parker’s wife and enabler, Chan. To create the film’s extraordinary soundtrack, Eastwood and his Oscar-winning sound team used cutting-edge technology to isolate Parker’s actual performances from period recordings, then combined them with newly recorded backing tracks (played by the likes of Ray Brown, Walter Davis, Jr. and Ron Carter) in crisp, stereophonic bliss.

“Cast in the smoky hues that recall the jazz clubs of the ‘50s and the backwater joints in the south, Eastwood’s film brings Bird back to vibrant life.” —NYFF26 program note

Series: 50 Years of the New York Film Festival

Venue: Walter Reade Theater

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