The Connection



Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Roscoe Lee Browne Photo
Roscoe Lee Browne as J. J. Burden
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
946.32 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 42 min
P/S 2 / 1
1.72 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 42 min
P/S 1 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by desperateliving9 / 10


This is a very difficult film, austere and hard, but after about ten minutes you can calibrate yourself to its rhythm, which is slow -- or, not so much slow as not fast, with extremely long takes in a one-room setting. The film, which is about a group of jazz musicians waiting for "the connection" (heroin) in an apartment, is essentially a filmed piece of experimental theater; it's very interesting, I think, and valuable for its honest portrayals of blacks (not all of the characters are black, but those who are are allowed to give equal amounts of monologues to the camera). The film itself, which is a product of the beat culture, is an experiment in subtle documentary satire -- the film is a film that's being made by a documentarian and his camera assistant; the documentarian becomes involved in the "film" himself by interacting with the musicians, trying to get them to act naturally for the camera by saying he's one of them, that he "reads" them. (The film is also a kind of Method film in the sense that the performances are strained and melodramatic -- the main character who owns the apartment has a boil that makes him scream at a few points -- and that everything is about the documentarian retaining emotional truth.) As the documentarian gets involved with the group (and after the connection arrives, with a female religious preacher in toe),the film feels almost like a public service announcement. It's a really fascinating document. 9/10

Reviewed by Ham_and_Egger8 / 10

Staged, grungy, bleak, experimental, and despite it all quite entertaining.

A remarkably tense and anxious little film about a group of junky musicians "waiting for their man" in a New York flophouse loft. They're joined by a documentary film crew (just a director and a cameraman) whose goal seems to be some sort of cinéma vérité about the life of junky musicians who wait in flophouse lofts.

After a few introductions, and comical "act natural" type instructions from the documentary director, the characters take turns addressing the camera. They nervously rant, philosophize, and insult each other, interrupted occasionally by improvised jazz from several legitimate musicians in the cast (most notably pianist Freddie Redd and tenor sax player Jackie McLean). The anxiety they feel as they wait for their fix is brilliantly conveyed by both the actors and the director (this time I mean the real director, Shirley Clarke, not the actor portraying the documentary director, got it?)

Much of this conveyed anxiety comes from the fact that the film is a strange and slightly unsettling mix of stark realism and stage acting (it is a filmed version of a play from the New York theater scene of the day). This is an unusual film and it honestly takes some getting used to, though probably less now taking into account the glut of nauseatingly self-conscious "mockumentaries" and hyper-stylized "reality shows" we are plagued with today.

The Connection is something different, matching edgy subject matter with edgy film-making the producers were working very much without a net. Consequently some might think it ends in disaster, I think it's a highly interesting experiment that's well worth watching.

Reviewed by ianlouisiana9 / 10

When you're on the bottom,the only way is down.

In junkie mythology there was a clear connection between heroin and jazz music,the long - discredited belief held by second rate players that if they shot up they would be as good as their heroes who,as it happens were brilliant improvisers long before they started using,and not the other way around as their emulators told themselves.For example,alto player Jackie Maclean,a follower of Charlie Parker,took H in an effort to play more like his hero despite Bird's active discouragement. In "The Connection" Mr MacLean blows fierce Parkerisms knowing full well that heroin in real life robbed him of articulation and logical musical thought. I remember when the play opened in London the musical press held up its hands in horror despite knowing that a goodly number of British modern jazzers were victims of a tragic and wasteful culture. "The Connection" could not be said to encourage drug taking any more than "Trainspotting" a generation or so later. Addicts have a squalid and meaningless existence in any recognisable sense of the term and this is well realised in the movie. Anyone who has taken any type of drug will know that time flows at a different rate from people on the planet earth,the mind becomes befuddled subject to the very occasional flash of amazing clarity and the actors convey this state of mind very accurately. The "film within a film" conceit distances the viewer from the pointlessness and boredom of the average junkie's life and it can be viewed with rather more detachment than might otherwise have been the case. The actors are acting at "acting" until they get used to the presence of the camera when they revert to concentrating on their sole purpose in life,waiting for The Man. "The Connection" is a fine portrayal of life outside the mainstream of American society in all its sordid bleakness.Here there is none of the artificial glamour of "designer drugs",these are people living on the verge of oblivion,not models and pop - stars,rich and smug with the knowledge that they are above the law. When you're at the bottom in this movie,the only way is down.

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