Ars Nova Workshop presents the New Paths Festival: On Film
Soldier of the Road: A Portrait of Peter Brötzmann
dir. Bernard Josse, 2012, DVD, English, French, and German, with English subtitles, color, 93 min.
In preparation for the New Paths Festival, Ars Nova Workshop is proud to present a day of documentary films at International House. These three films turn the lens on musicians, but keep the camera rolling after the performance ends. The result is three visually arresting views into the creation process of jazz and improvised music, exposing both the quotidian struggles of life as a working musician and the rich anecdotal histories of these musicians. These films are artistic endeavors in themselves, but also exist as historical documents of the development of the avant-garde over the last forty years.
New Paths Festival has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
Bernard Josse's portrait of German saxophonist Peter Brötzmann, shot with no financial backing, is the product of Josse's own enthusiasm for Brötzmann's work, both in his improvised musicianship and in his visual art practice. Josse enlists veteran jazz photographer Gérard Rouy to conduct and translate interviews, and the duo tap into Rouy's acquaintances and friendships with musicians and artists across Europe and the US. The film is marked by a particularly intentional approach to the visual product, drawing upon Josse's direction and Rouy and Brötzmann's own respective aesthetics : “What gives Soldier of the Road its special quality is the sheer visual acuity of so many of the participants” (Point of Departure). The interviews capture an often-serene Brötzmann, a stark contrast to the intense musical performances that punctuate the film. Appearances by and interviews with Brötzmann's friends and collaborators include Fred Van Hove, Han Bennink, Evan Parker, Ken Vandermark, Mats Gustaffson, Joe McPhee, Connie Bauer, Jeb Bishop, and others.