Round Midnight, the 1986 Academy Award-nominated masterpiece directed by Bertrand Tavernier, serves as a heartfelt tribute to the golden age of bebop and the African American jazz musicians who pioneered the art form, many of whom moved to Europe in search of greater opportunity, equality, and reception. This exquisite French film has been beautifully restored and is now available in a special edition Blu-ray release that is a must-have for any jazz or cinema aficionado.
The film stars legendary saxophonist Dexter Gordon in an Oscar-nominated role as Dale Turner, an expatriate New York jazz musician in the final days of his journey as a surviving artist in search for peace, resolution, and friendship. As Turner seeks a fresh start in Paris, he forms an unexpected bond with a struggling single father and jazz enthusiast, played by famed French actor François Cluzet. Their friendship ultimately transforms both their lives. The Oscar-winning score by Herbie Hancock sets the stage for this cinematic treasure, brimming with authentic soul and emotion.
This Blu-ray special edition (Spine #1122) boasts a new 4K digital restoration and is presented with a 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. An alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack is also available in DTS-HD Master Audio. The package includes an array of special features that will delight fans and newcomers alike.
Exclusive content includes a new interview with music producer Michael Cuscuna and author Maxine Gordon (widow, archivist, and biographer of Dexter Gordon), and a 1986 behind-the-scenes documentary, Before Midnight, by Jean Achache. Additionally, the edition features a 2014 panel discussion with Cuscuna, Maxine Gordon, Bertrand Tavernier, and jazz scholar John Szwed, moderated by jazz critic and broadcaster Mark Ruffin.
The Blu-ray also contains a rare 1969 performance of "Fried Bananas" by Dexter Gordon, directed by Teit Jørgensen, as well as a new English subtitle translation and subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing. Finally, the package is rounded out by an insightful essay penned by scholar Mark Anthony Neal.
The 'Round Midnight Blu-ray Special Edition is an invaluable addition to any film or jazz lover's collection, capturing the essence of a unique moment in time and immortalizing the passion and resilience of the musicians who lived it.
Siskel & Ebert 1986 Film Review: