Good news for silent film and jazz fans of New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Detroit, and Philadelphia!

Louis: A Silent Film is the tale of a six-year-old New Orleans boy who dreams of being a trumpeter. Directed by newcomer Dan Pritzker and lensed by the legendary Vilmos “The Sadist” Zsigmond, the film stars Anthony Coleman, Jackie Earle Haley (looking like a diseased Chaplin), Michael Rooker, and features original music by jazz great Wynton Marsalis. Louisis an homage to Louis Armstrong, Charlie Chaplin, beautiful women and the birth of American music.” Oh yeah… and it’s rated R.

Pritzker says of the film’s origins: “‘Louis’ came about when I was writing a screenplay about Buddy Bolden, the first jazz trumpeter of New Orleans, and I took my mom to see Chaplin’s ‘City Lights’ with the Chicago Symphony performing the score. It was without a doubt the best movie experience I ever had.” The film was shot concurrently with, and serves as a companion piece to, Bolden!, Pritzker’s 2011 biopic about Buddy Bolden, featuring much of the same cast.

Now just the idea of Michael Rooker doing his best Keystone Cop gets me giddy, but the real kicker here is the presentation: Louis will premiere in the five US cities mentioned up top later this month with live musical accompaniment by Wynton Marsalis, pianist Cecile Licad and a 10-piece all-star jazz ensemble.



I’m really hoping this winds up coming to Los Angeles. For those in the chosen locales, here are the tour dates:

Wednesday, August 25–Symphony Center, Chicago
Thursday, August 26–Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit
Saturday, August 28–Strathmore Center, Bethesda, Md.
Monday, August 30–Apollo Theatre, Harlem, NYC
Tuesday, August 31–Keswick Theatre, Glenside (Philadelphia) Pa.

via Marsalis’ website