Jazzinema will screen four films and the preview of the latest work by Ana Díez

Denzel Washington plays a jazz trumpeter in Spike Lee’s film.

The program can be seen in Donostia, Bilbao, Vitoria, Pamplona and San Juan de Luz, and includes classics such as ‘Ascensor para el cadalso’ with music by Miles Davis, and ‘Mo’ Better Blues’ by Spike Lee

Carlos Rodriguez Vidondo

The Jazzinema cycle will close the Basque Film Library season in July, taking advantage of the celebration of the three great Basque jazz festivals: San Sebastián, Getxo and Vitoria. The program presented includes classic and modern cinema that will be screened in San Sebastián, Bilbao, Vitoria and Pamplona, ​​such as ‘Elevator for the gallows’ with a soundtrack by Miles Davis; ‘Mo Better Blues’; a restored 4K documentary about the 1958 Newport Festival titled ‘Jazz on a Summer’s Day’; and the figure and work of Thelonious Monk in ‘Straight No Chaser’.

The screenings will take place in Tabakalera (San Sebastián), Artium Museoa (Vitoria), the Museum of Fine Arts (Bilbao), in the Golem Yamaguchi cinemas (Pamplona). In addition, the first three films will also be shown at Le Sélect cinemas in Saint Jean de Luz. On her part, the filmmaker Ana Díez (Tudela, 1957) will present her latest work, ‘To whom she closes her eyes’, in the company of Mexican actress Patricia Reyes Spíndola on July 9 at Tabakalera. Subsequently, there will be a preview of the film that the pioneer of Basque cinema has shot 14 years after her last film ‘Paisito’ (2008).


  • ‘Jazz on a Summer’s Day’.
    July 7, at 7:00 p.m. in Tabakalera. Presented by Miguel Martin.

  • ‘Who closes his eyes’.
    Preview on July 9, at 7:00 p.m. at Tabakalera. They are presented by the director Ana Díez and the actress Patricia Reyes Spíndola.

  • ‘Mo Better Blues’.
    July 15, at 7:00 p.m. in Tabakalera. Presented by Josemi Beltrán.

  • ‘Elevator to the gallows’.
    July 22, at 7:00 p.m. in Tabakalera. Presents Begoña del Teso.

  • ‘Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser’.
    July 29, at 7:00 p.m. in Tabakalera.

The first film scheduled at Jazzinema will be ‘Jazz on a Summer’s Day’ (Bert Stern, 1959), which includes performances by jazz figures such as Louis Armstrong, Anita O’Day, Mahalia Jackson and Thelonious Monk, among others, in the edition of 1958 of the mythical festival of Newport. Unlike previous jazz movies, invariably shot in hazy black and white, this one was shot in spectacular color. The title will be presented by Miguel Martín, director of the San Sebastián jazz festival.

‘Mo’ Better Blues’, directed in 1990 by Spike Lee, tells the adventures of a jazz trumpeter, Bleek Gilliam, played by actor Denzel Washington. Things are not going bad for Bleek either. However, various problems force them to make delicate decisions. On the one hand, he must come to the defense of the group’s manager, who has gambling problems and is frequently beaten up by his creditors. The film will be presented by Josemi Beltrán, head of the Donostia Kultura Film Unit.

make it look like an accident

The third film in the cycle is the great classic of French cinema ‘Elevator to the Scaffold’ (Louis Malle, 1957), whose soundtrack was provided by the trumpeter Miles Davis, one of the most important figures in the history of modern jazz. Julien Tavernier is a former paratrooper from the Indochina War who has an affair with Florence, the wife of his boss, businessman Simon Carala. Tired of keeping their idyll hidden, the pair of lovers decide to murder Simon, trying to make it look like suicide. The film will be presented by the journalist Begoña del Teso and by the person in charge of the Vitoria jazz festival, Alberto Ibarrondo.

The documentary ‘Thelonious Monk: Straight no Chaser’ (Charlotte Zwerin, 1988), which delves into the figure of the great American pianist and composer, will close the Jazzinema cycle. It includes in its footage various moments from some of the live concerts of Monk and his group and also includes interviews with friends and family of this exceptional artist.

Ana Díez’s new film shows the paradox of an education that becomes a space closed to the future. As if in an anthill, the characters are trapped in the Villaseñor school in Mexico City, following in the wake of those in charge of marking their path.

‘Jazz on a Summer Day’, ‘Mo’ Better Blues’ and ‘Elevator for the Scaffold’ will be the three films that can also be seen at Le Sélect cinemas in Saint Jean de Luz.

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