Jazzman (1983) - full transcript

A music student is expeled from school because he loves jazz, a kind of music that represents the US capitalism. He hires two street musicians to form a dixie band, and goes from one city to another trying to gain fame.


Art for People!

Is he the one who played
during recess yesterday?

Stand up, defendant.

Come closer.

I now give the floor
to comrade Bukin,

a student of the composition

I present two charges
against student Ivanov:

first, decadence,

and, second, he is popularizing

a monstrous product

of bourgeois culture,

namely, jazz.

Can you say something
in your defence?

I can.

Did you know
that the sociaI roots ofjazz

go deep into Negro folk songs,
the blues?

And that the Negroes are
the most disinherited

and oppressed people
in the United States?

Their music cannot, therefore,
be called bourgeois.

It's progressive and revolutionary!

Enough oration!
Answer the charges.

You have proletarian roots
and have sunk...

...to being an agent
of world imperialism!

- Gone too far!
- No!

He should be expelled
from our music schooI.

Instead of expelling Ivanov

I think we ought
to reprimand him

and forbid him to play

- Jazz!
- ... jazz!

I want to say this:

I won't give up jazz!

Musicians Wanted
for the Republic's First Jazz Band


Script: Alexander Borodinsky
Karen Shakhnazarov

Direction: Karen Shakhnazarov

Camera: Vladimir Shevtsik

Sets: Konstantin Forostenko

Music: Anatoly Kroll

Sound: E.Zelentsova

The Sovremennik Band under
the direction of Anatoly Kroll

Featuring: Igor Sklyar as Kostya

Alexander Pankratov-Chorny
as Stepan

Nikolai Averiushkin as Zhora
Pyotr Shcherbakov as Bavurin

With: Evgeny Evstigneyev

Leonid Kuravlyov
Bronislav Brondukov

Elena Tsiplakova, Larissa Dolina
Yuri Vasilyev

Songs: 'Thank You, Music'
'My Old Piano'

by M.Minkov (music)
and D.Ivanov (Iyrics)

Performed by: O.Pirags
L.Dolina, I.Sklyar, V.Shevtsik

Music of the 1920's
is used in this film

Esteemed citizens of Odessa!

You'll now see and hear

the popular stage duet,
en route to Monte Carlo,

Harry Soldy and Billy Moldy!

Count Tolstoy once
said that man's life

is a straight railroad line.

My suitcase stands by the window.

Well, pick it up, and fast!

I won't pick it up!

Esteemed citizens of Odessa,
we'll be gratefuI

for every token
of your appreciation!

Many thanks!

Same to you.

Play it right
or I'll slug you!

I'm touched, friends.

Thank you, madam.

Stop. The show's over.

Is Chamberlain going to attack us?

- He won't dare.
- But what if he does?

Just let him try.

We'll work him so bad his
own mother won't know him.

There's Katya.

Why, if it isn't

Stepan and Zhora!

I heard...

...you both died of typhus.

We've been out of work for 3 months.
What about you?

I'm in the Higiene Choir.

What kind of outfit is that?

It's from education department.

- How much do they pay?
- Not a kopek.

But I get free meals
plus free soap once a month.

Could you get Zhora and me into it?

No, it's a women's choir.

Well, I gotta see a man
about an engagement.

Look at the mutt, Stepan.

Isn't he cute?

Poor darling, motherless
and fatherless.

I'd rather look at a 15 kopek coin.

Let's adopt him.

What for?

When we come home in the evening,
all tired out,

he'll cheer us up.

Oh, forget it.

A job's the only thing
that can cheer me up.

Let's go to the employment agency.

Come here!

Look! Musicians wanted!

Banjo and drums.

For a jazz band. What's that?

Haven't the faintest.

Well, that's jazz.

- Like it?
- Yes, a lot.

- What about you?
- He likes it too.

We still need a saxophone,

but us three can start.

Did you catch
what makes jazz so speciaI?

- Of course.
- The syncopation.

Yes, the syncopation.

Remember the instrument
that sounds like this?

Think it was a trumpet?

Well, it was a trumpet,
but with a mute.

We're in great luck, friends.

We'll be the first jazz band
in the republic.

We'll see no end of success!

We'll play in the best halls
in the country.

We've settled everything.
We rehearse tomorrow morning,

and in the evening we play.

He's a crackpot.

- You think so?
- You saw that, didn't you?

- What do we do?
- Forget the whole thing.

- But we might become famous.
- Never.

But suppose we do?

Get off the stage!



Kick 'em out!

Call that music?

We never should have
hooked up with you!

We had our own program.

We weren't stars,
but we made a living.

But now you're obsessed
with fame, eh.

Did you think we'd become
stars overnight?

Nothing new ever wins
recognition at first.

We went in too much
for sound effects.

We haven't learned
to play well yet.

We've still got a lot of hard
work ahead of us.

We've wasted enough time.

Let's rehearse.

You an idiot, or what?

To hell with yourjazz
and your rehearsals!

Snap out of it!

Let's go.

Wait! What about our band?

You can take your band and...

I'll knock you silly!

- Greetings, boys.
- Well, what is it?

I've been wanting to meet you
a long time.

Could you play for us

at a party tomorrow evening?

I know just how you feeI.

- Will 600 rubles be enough?
- How much did you say?

600 rubles.

Here's an advance.

Tomorrow evenings at 7.
The Paradise Restaurant.

Let the boys take a breather.

You didn't think anybody
wanted jazz.

What intelligent audience,
right, Stepan?

I always said jazz
has a big future.

Our next number is dedicated
to the hero of the day.

Papa invites you
to join him at his table.


I want to thank all of you

for the surprise you arranged
on my birthday

by inviting these
fine young men here.

As you know,
I have few weaknesses.

Jazz is one of them.
I love jazz.

I first began to appreciate jazz
in Chicago in 1908

when I heard Mitchell.

How he played! He held
the audience spellbound.

They forget everything else
in the world.

That was ideaI for my work.

I wish the Soviet pioneers
ofjazz every success

because their success
is our success.

Any more birthdays coming up?

We could play more.

Papa is the only one of us
who's crazy about jazz.

None of the boys care for it.

Ever hear Sam Wooding?

Sam holds a speciaI place
in my heart.

- What about Scott Joplin?
- Scott is vulgar.

Very few well to do people
used to go to hear him.

Scott Joplin is my ideaI.

Especially this number.

Know this one?

Of course.
'Alexander's Ragtime Band'.

Friends and associates,

we have gathered here today

for the golden anniversary
of Papa's working career.

I have the honour to convey
heartiest greetings to Papa

from the staff
of the Taganrog branch

and to present him with this
small token of our affection.

Is that your idea of a joke?

How'd I know it was for Papa?

You jerk!

What'd you call me?

Pile in, boys!

I like Duke Ellington
best of all.

Time to pack it up, Papa.

It's my bedtime,

but you youngsters can stay on.

Enjoy yourselves
while you're young.

Nobody move!


It's all in small bills!

Don't worry, Kostya.
They'II let us out soon.

What a disgrace!
We played for a gang of crooks.

I say we ought to give
this money to the government.

What for?

It's stolen money.

I have a better idea.

Let's just keep it.
Who's in favor?

Two against one.

I'll turn in my share.

- Where am I?
- In Monte Carlo.

- No, where am I?
- In jaiI.

I can see that.

- But what city am I in?
- Yesterday it was Odessa.

Wise guys, huh?

You crooks?

- We're musicians.
- Yeah, sure.

Who the hell are you?

A musician. A reaI one.

When you were still knee
high to a grasshopper

I was playing in a regimentaI
brass band.

I was the first saxophone.

You're a saxophone player?

Friends, this is
a big day for us.

Today ourjazz band is born.

Now that this fine musician,
Ivan Bavurin, has joined us,

we're a reaI jazz group.

Boundless horizons
open up before us.

Now we can tackle
complicated jazz pieces

and play in the best places.

Farewell, farewell,
Odessa, mother mine,

A place I'II love
for ever more!

I'll not forget the Black Sea's
rising waves,

I'll not forget them striking
at your shore.

You hummed with life,
Odessa, mother mine;

My youth passed here,
but now it's gone.

Farewell, farewell,
Odessa, mother mine,

Please give your blessing
to your gratefuI son.

Entrance hall, bathroom,

lounge, two bedrooms

and a balcony.

Not bad.

Not bad at all.

When we were in Tsarskoye Selo...

Oh, shut up!

Where's the best place
in town for music?

We're a jazz band and we'll
be playing here in Moscow.

The Hermitage Garden
is the best place for that.

We won't make it in Moscow.

Coming here...

...was a mistake.

Did you see his drums?

- Did you hear them play?
- I didn't like it.

When we played,
the Tsar himself used to...

Shut up - you and your Tsar!

What do they make?
25 a man?

More like 100.

Even the Gypsies
don't make that much.

All you talk about is money.
When we develop

our own style
we'll each be getting 200.

The main thing is to work out
our own style.

RehearsaI at10 a. m. tomorrow.

- Why not 9?
- Good. Make it 9.

- What's the matter?
- That was a bad start.

The way to start, eh.

The opening bars greet our audience.

The people out there
are old friends of ours.

When you meet a friend

you don't yell at him.

Or did you think
the louder the better?

A band shouldn't puff
like a steam engine.

The drummer played the first
five bars very well,

but after that he was lousy.

The best band is a quiet band.

Now the saxophone.

When you take a solo

you got to improvise,

but you keep to the score.

I play exactly by music.

Follow orders or I'll fire you,

you bourgeois lackey!

- What?
- Nothing.

Watch your language before
I make you feeI sorry.

When the Tsar gave up the throne

I was the first to play
the 'Marseillaise'.

Stop it!

Let's rehearse.


From this mark, okay?


Don't follow the score.

- That's what I'm doing.
- You play by music.

Through improvisation
you express your inner self.

Your inner self!

Why didn't you say so,
instead of shouting?

Once more.


- Listen, you aristocrat!
- Sit down, Stepan.

Now listen, Ivan.


There's the saxophone.

Hear that?

That's a reaI solo.

See the point?

You dumbbell!

That's enough for today.

What do they want, Zhora?

Are you really so dumb or
are you pretending?

O Lord!

Improvisation, pah!

Whoever thought up improvisation?

The Germans, probably.
They invent things,

and we Russians pay for it.

Well, I'll express my inner self.

- We ought to kick Ivan out.
- Where'll we find a sax man?

I'd never treat him with
kid gloves like you do.

I'd teach him quick
how to express himself.

Why do you yell at him?

You don't know this sort.
Got to treat 'em rough.

- Gimme a match.
- I don't smoke.

Your daily allowance, Zhora.

Next. Your name?

Okay, go ahead.

Ivan Bavurin. 73 kopeks.

But that's a ruble short.

What about the ruble?

You were fined 1 ruble for
not doing yourjob properly.

We'll keep on fining you.

This is robbery. I'll complain.

Go right ahead.

You can take us to court
if you want to.

You'll turn me into a beggar.

It's sinfuI.

That's what we need.

Just look at this!

'A prize bull was brought
to the agriculturai fair... '

No, the item below.

'The popular Cuban singer
Clementina Fernandez

'is now in Leningrad.

'She will arrive
in Moscow tomorrow. '

- Got it?
- No, I don't.

Clementina Fernandez!

One of the world's most
famous jazz singers.

If we could only get her
to sing with us!

We'll outstrip all of them.

Take this

and buy fruit and champagne.

The top's too tight.

It'll do.

What will do?

Don't lean against anything.

We got to return these outfits
at six o'clock.

- What about me?
- Take a day off.

I see: we share the work
but not the fun.

Here's a ruble

for beer.

Hurry up, Kostya,

we still have to go
for the interpreter.

- An interpreter? What for?
- You gonna translate?

- I can handle it.
- You know languages?

Didn't I live at court for10 years?

Let's hear you say something.

- What does that mean?
- Would you like a cup of tea, miss?

I'm ready. Let's go.

There she is!

Welcome to our capitaI.

He's Kostya, he's Stepan,

and I'm Ivan Bavurin.

- Some pivo, as we call it?
- Pivo? What's that?

Well, it's - you know.

- Good!
- It's sure is.

Waiting is dull.
Bring us some snacks, Stepan.

- One more?
- No, that's enough.

- But we will, won't we?
- Absolutely.

Grand Duke Konstantin once sent

4 magnums of champagne to us
in the barracks.

Here's to you.

There was another funny story...

Come on!

- I've had enough.
- It's your duty.

- Let's get down to the contract.
- Too early.

No, too early.

Get some more champagne, Zhora.

- How many?
- Get three bottles.

For us not to go away for more.

No, better make it five.

There he is!

We searched for you all night.

- Where were you?
- Here, sleeping.

I told you so, but you said,
'No, he went to the Gypsies'.

Join us.

Have some tea.

Is everything OK?

Somebody stole my last
ten ruble bill.

The Gypsies, probably.

Where'd they come from?

- You called them.
- I?

When the Gypsies started
singing you shouted.

Did Clementina sign the contract?

But you said we didn't need her.

When the Gypsies started
singing you shouted.

'What voices! Just what we need!'

- I said that?
- You did.

My god! What've I done!

We must find Clementina at once,

straighten things out
and sign contract with her.

- But where'll we find her?
- I don't know.

Today is the 14th, gentlemen.

Your hoteI bill is due.

Today's my birthday.

- How old are you?
- 52.

- You don't say!
- Cross my heart.

I was born in
the reign of Alexander 2,

13 years after the abolition
of serfdom.

You look great.


but my back aches.

Happy birthday!

May you be healthy,
happy and famous!

It's for you.

- What's this?
- A birthday present.

With best wishes.

It's nearly full.

To keep your head warm.

Nobody ever gave me
any birthday presents before.

The Jury

- Is he a reaI Negro?
- Yes.

The purpose of this audition

is to select a band to play
in the City Garden.

Any opinions?

I want to ask them a question.

What is the date
of the Spartacus uprising?

The uprising of slaves under

the leadership of Spartacus
took place in 73 B.C.

I think they're suitable.

What does ourjazz expert say?

Where'd you get that tune?

Kostya wrote it.

You're probably the leader
of this group, aren't you?


Your newspaper denounces
jazz all the time.

We jazzmen don't like that.

But now I think

we ought to be gratefuI to you.

This jazz craze is becoming
an epidemic.

Everybody under the sun
is starting a jazz band.

Midgets, housewives, Gypsies -
they all have jazz bands.

They're all clowns!

If this landslide isn't stopped,

it will bury reaI jazz.

What were you doing before
you took up jazz?

I was a student
in a music schooI.

My advice is for you
to go back to that schooI.

You might turn into
a competent pianist someday.

You weren't meant forjazz.

It isn't something just
anybody can go in for.

That's clear. Who's next?

No use standing here.
We got to do something.

What do we do now?

What's wrong?

Don't take it to heart.

Forget it.

Relax - we'll show him!

Let's have some tea and buns.

Life is too short
to get upset about everything

that happens to you.

Just imagine!


An anarchist threw
a bomb at the Governor of Pskov.

- What're you raving about?
- It's in the newspaper.

But this paper's from 1904.

Where'd you dig it up?

Breakfast is ready.

Come and have breakfast, Kostya.

- I'm not hungry.
- Have some hot potatoes.

He's taking it hard.

- We got to do something.
- For example?

I don't know.

If somebody told him
he was the king ofjazz...

- I'll tell him.
- Oh, shut up!

Think you're Chamberlain?
Telling everybody to shut up!

If an authority on jazz
told him that...

Where can we find one?

Remember that Leningrad man,
he told us about

who's the biggest expert on jazz?

I don't remember.

A captain in the Navy.

Yes, and his name was
connected somehow with meat.

- Lambkin?
- No.

- Porkov?
- No.

- Venisonov?
- No.

It was Salamisky!

That's right! If Salamisky
told Kostya that he...

But how can we get him here?

Let's think it over.

At last.

- What about a uniform?
- He'll get one.

- How much does he want?
- Three rubles.

He looks like a rogue.

A decent chap.

A sea wolf!

- Don't forget to limp.
- As a war veteran.

We'll go ahead, and you'll
stay here in the woods.

Later I'll call you.

You come up and say:
'I'm Captain Salamisky.

I've come here all the way
from Leningrad to hear you'.

I see.

Then we play and when
I give you a wink you say:

'That was wonderfuI!
You're the King ofjazz!

You'll be a great success!'

Then I look at my watch
and I say : 'It's 5.20'

You say: 'I'll miss my boat!'
and rush away.

And that's the last we
ever want to see of you.

In that case it'll
have be 5 rubles.

- But we agreed on 3.
- 5.

- That's all we got.
- We'll give you them tomorrow.

- Then I'll come tomorrow.
- Wait.

Take some clothing instead.

I'm a captain, not a junk dealer.
I'll take it in gold.

But we haven't any.

What about fatso's gold tooth?

You, rogue!

How can you do this to me?

Gimme the light.

We came across a type
in the woods just now,

he would be hanging on us

saying he's dying to hear
our band play.

I told we'd quit
but he kept insisting.

Who is he?

A man from Leningrad.

I think you know him.
His name's Salamisky.


Remember, you said he
was the biggest jazz expert.

A captain in the Navy.

- Salaminov?
- Yes, that's it.

- Where is he?
- Somewhere nearby.

Should I call him?

Come here, Captain.

Meet Kostya Ivanov,
the leader of our band.


What, 'eh'?

Captain Salaminov,
from Leningrad.

He's dying to hear our band.

You're dying to hear us,
aren't you?

Say something, you dope!

You're the dope!

'King of Jazz! WonderfuI!'
Cheap con men!

Cuts no ice with me.


- Stop!
- My gold tooth!


I'm so glad you came.

Say, that's jazz!

Remember this one?

Of course. 'Rio Ruta'.

I'm crazy about jazz.

My wife left me on account of it.

We've written an article

against the Serapion Brothers.

That can wait.
These boys are a jazz band.


- Where're you playing?
- Nowhere, at present.

Give them quarters

in the dormitory
for proletarian musicians

and issue them meaI tickets.

Jazz is music for the rich.

- Hear that?
- What does he know!

Living quarters
and free meaI tickets.

You'll play in
the Transport Workers' Club.

That's a big assignment.

There're no debates
here about jazz.

Many faiI to see
its revolutionary message.

So be sure to play well.

Think we'll be all right?

Remember, I'm nearly 30,
but what am I?

You're a fine jazz musician.

You mean it?


And Ivan's a top-class
saxophone player.

Zhora's an ace drummer.

There aren't many
like you in the world.

Of course! I'm a first
class saxophone player.

I'm super, you know.

- What about me?
- You're great! So is Zhora.

And Kostya's one
of the best in the world.

Listen, guys.

We're a reaI jazz band.

Stepan! Zhora! Is that you?

Who's that lovely lady?

- Don't you recognize me?
- Katya?


You look like a million!

I can't complain.

Married a rich man, or what?

They're all at my feet.

I'm a star now. Isabelle Fox!

All that I ever dreamed of

Happened to lucky me.

Hear how my heart is beating

In time with this melody!

Life brings me joys far sweeter

Than the most sweet of dreams.

Hear how my heart is beating?

I'm in love, it seems.

Thank you, music, thank you;

You're full of tenderness
and strength.

Thank you for this bright moment

When a whole new world
opened up to me -

Your world, o music!

I'm enchanted by your singing!

Let's celebrate the occasion
with champagne!

Nice idea.


How are you getting along?

- We're doing fine.
- Still doing those jingles?

We play jazz nowadays.

You play jazz?

- What's so funny?
- You play jazz?

- Stepan's a band leader?
- No, Kostya's the leader.

Your Kostya is
a demonic character.


- A strong, silent man.
- What do you mean silent?

Fallen in love with me?

Nothing of the kind.

I like you.

Why don't you
invite me to dance with you?

My old piano is in a fright,

It can't get the blues quite right;

These new melodies are okay,

but it'd rather play Bach all day.

Believe me,

old piano mine,
This's no time to whine!

New rhythms have long
replaced the old,

Don't let them leave you cold.

It's hard to get used
to jazz,

I know, but don't feeI low.

I'm sorry for you,

old piano mine,
but you mustn't whine!

When my hands touch
your ancient keys,

From every heart sorrow flees.

My old, tired piano shares

Both my happiness and my cares.

- Are you really a jazz band?
- Yeah.

You don't look it.

People'II laugh
when you start to play.

- But why?
- It beats me.

Stepan, Zhora, and that fatso -

call that a jazz band?

That fatso is
a great saxophone player.

A jazz band!


We'll work out a reaI jazz program.

Not with them you won't.

But why?

You need better musicians
for that.

But I tell you
they're fine musicians.

Let's begin together.

I'll be the singer,
and I'll find the musicians.

- But we four began together.
- So what?

Everybody began one way or another.

I'll stay with them.

Too bad!

Well, I'll be going.

So long.


'Captain Salaminov,
Baltic Fleet, Leningrad.

'We invite you to Moscow
on November 18

'to hear ourjazz band'.

We need a good meaI before
this evening's show.

Come and hear us tonight.

Where's the food?

The Secretariat of the Union
of Proletarian Musicians

gave orders not to feed
jazz band because you're

- agents of bourgeois culture.
- What did you say?

- Agents? Who, us?
- Yes, you!


Don't you read the papers?

'To nip this beerhall
fad in the bud,

'to continue along the road

of revolutionary quests,

'we shout loud and clear:
'Down with jazz bands!'

Now vacate this table.

Hello, boys.

As you see, things
took an unfortunate turn.

What does a newspaper
article matter, after all?

They went too far, so what?

It'll all straighten out.
Jazz will come into it's own.

No doubt about it.

Well, let's be going.

Excuse me. Am I late?

My name's Salaminov.

Are you the ones who invited me
to a concert?