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Eye on Sound: The Connection (1961) (soundwave)

The Connection

Shirley Clarke / US, 1961 / 110 min.

In Shirley Clarke’s groundbreaking debut, a group of junkie jazz musicians wait fort heir next fix. With its restless camerawork, playful Beat dialogue and cool jazz score by Freddie Redd, the film became a seldom-screened milestone in American independent film.

poster The Connection (Shirley Clarke, US 1961)

During All That Jazz, Eye will pay particular attention to New York avant-garde film-maker Shirley Clarke (1919-1997) by screening the Ornette Coleman documentary Ornette: Made in America (1985), which proved to be her final film, as well as her groundbreaking debut The Connection.

Clarke's oeuvre was massively influenced by jazz. The Connection is the story of a group of jazz musicians (including actual jazz legends Jackie McLean and Freddie Redd who composed the score) in a messy apartment waiting for their dealer while a young documentary-maker tries to shoot a ‘realistic’ film about them.

At the time, The Connection was praised as a masterpiece and became very influential among filmmakers. However, it hasn’t been screened in cinemas since the early 1980s. Until now, that is!


This movie contains scenes with alcohol and/or drug useThis movie contains foul languagePersons under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult


Shirley Clarke

Production year




Original title

The Connection


110 min.







Part of

All That Jazz

All That Jazz: a scintillating programme on jazz and film featuring classics, live performances and a focus on exceptional avant-garde and activist filmmakers with a passion for jazz. From Miles Davis to Vincent de Boer, from Sun Ra to Ornette Coleman.

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still The Connection (Shirley Clarke, US 1961)
still The Connection (Shirley Clarke, US 1961)
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Current exhibition

  • 8 June — 29 September 2024

    Albert Serra


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