A Bookshelf on Top of the Sky: Twelve Stories About John Zorn (2002)

Genres - Music  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Music History, Social History  |   Run Time - 82 min.  |   Countries - Germany  |  
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German filmmaker Claudia Heuermann's longtime admiration for New York-based postmodern musician/composer John Zorn is encapsulated in her non-linear 2002 documentary A Bookshelf on Top of the Sky: Twelve Stories About John Zorn. Truly an all-inclusive music experimentalist, Zorn's repertoire ranges wildly from jazz infused with punk and metal to classical and ethnic pieces, with wild exercises in improvisation and pace also characteristic of his performance endeavors. As Heuermann analyzes her idol's musical background and achievements, she likewise experiments with filmmaking methodology by infusing some of Zorn's techniques with her own film editing, resulting in a series of seemingly disjointed stories that are as much about herself as they are about Zorn. A Bookshelf on Top of the Sky: Twelve Stories About John Zorn was selected for a number of film festival programs in 2002, including the Montreal International Film Festival and the Munich International Film Festival.

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Keywords

avant-garde, career-retrospective, composer, improvisation, jazz, Jewish, klezmer, musician, music-scene, post-Modernism, saxophone, virtuoso, Yiddish