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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A New John Coltrane Documentary Gets the I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO Treatment

If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Though I Am Not Your Negro didn't win the best documentary Oscar last month, it's still one of the most successful docs at the 2017 box office (grossing over $6 million already), and continues to inspire audiences with James Baldwin's decades-old words (through an uncanny voiceover by Samuel L. Jackson), which have a remarkable relevance to current events.

So naturally, Hollywood is eager to duplicate the film's success with a new documentary about another revered black legend whose left an indelible mark on both society and entertainment. CHASING TRANE: THE JOHN COLTRANE DOCUMENTARY, written and directed by John Scheinfeld, is the first authorized documentary on the 1950s-60s jazz icon, featuring never-before-seen family home movies, footage of Coltrane and his band in the studio, along with hundreds of exclusive photographs and rare television appearances from around the world. It also includes interviews with Coltrane's children, as well as musicians and notable figures inspired by his work (Common, Dr. Cornel West, President Bill Clinton, Carlos Santana, Wynton Marsalis, and more).

And—wait for it—Denzel Washington does the voiceover. 

Check out the official synopsis:

Written and directed by critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker John Scheinfeld (The U.S. vs. John Lennon and Who Is Harry Nilsson...?), Chasing Trane is the definitive documentary film about an outside-the-box thinker with extraordinary talent whose boundary-shattering music continues to impact and influence people around the world. This smart, passionate, thought-provoking and uplifting documentary is for anyone who appreciates the power of music to entertain, inspire and transform. The film is produced with the full participation of the Coltrane family and the support of the record labels that collectively own the Coltrane catalog. Set against the social, political and cultural landscape of the times, Chasing Trane brings John Coltrane to life as a fully dimensional being, inviting the audience to engage with Coltrane the man, Coltrane the artist.

I can get behind this. While this is becoming a trend, it's good to see Hollywood using authentic documentaries to tell the stories of notable black figures, instead of trying to recreate shoddy narrative features with terrible casts. Just saying. 

CHASING TRANE: THE JOHN COLTRANE DOCUMENTARY opens in theaters in New York on April 14 and Los Angeles on April 21, with a national rollout in top markets to follow. 



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