The Jazz Loft According to W. Eugene Smith
Directed by Sara Fishko
In 1950s Manhattan, a dingy, five-story wreck of a loft building becomes the home and obsession of the brilliant photographer W. Eugene Smith – who leaves his family and moves there to live the artist’s life. Smith, crashing after a stellar but frustrating career at LIFE Magazine, wires the building for sound and captures daily life at 821 Sixth Avenue in thousands of pictures and end- less hours of audio tape. Over eight years in this place in New York’s wholesale flower district, jazz players gather all night, every night, for freewheeling jam sessions both hot and cool; Thelonious Monk comes by to rehearse for a famous concert; Hall Overton emerges as a jazz guru; and a gifted drummer named Ronnie Free finds and loses his footing in the jazz world. Smith stealthily documents all that and more.