LA Weekly selected the film as the weeks GO in their review section and SF Weekly called the film “the quintessential portrait of an artist who was ahead of his time”. San Francisco Bay Guardian had the film as its no 1 pick of the week (of all cultural events!). Sheri Linden wrote a nice review in Los Angeles Times that unfotunately isn’t available online. Detroit’s Metro Times gives an A to the film. And so does Movies.com
Variety’s associate editor Phil Gallo writes: “Ayler, is revealed as an artist of the highest degree, the rare musician whose playing reflected his soul. “My Name is Albert Ayler” reveals the unique manner with which he expressed himself and the humanity that went into his improvisations. It’s a gorgeous portrait” Read more
The film will do a four city screening tour in early March. Starting in Los Angeles on March 5 with a special screening at the HAMMER Museum and the Billy Wilder Theater, followed by a screening at The International House in Philadelphia (March 6), the films theatrical opening at Laemmle’s Grande 4-Plex in Downtown LA (March 7-13), a run at Red Vic Movie House in San Francisco (March 9-11) and two screenings at MOCAD in Detroit (March 14&15). Director and producer Kasper Collin is scheduled to attend the screening at Hammer Museum, the opening night at Laemmle, several of the screenings at Red Vic and both screenings in Detroit. April 18 the film reopens at Anthology Film Archives in New York City.
The piece is written by Nick Stillman. Nick is an artist and writer based in Brooklyn, who regularly contributes to both Artforum and The Nation. He is also managing editor of Bomb.
The US music magazine Magnet published an article about the film including an interview with filmmaker Kasper Collin in their Winter 2008 issue. The author John Elsasser writes about the film as “a profound and inspiring film”. JazzTimes had a two page article in their December 2007 issue. The piece was written by Thomas Conrad and it also includes an interview with Kasper Collin. “This is a film that gets under your skin” Thomas writes.
The Observer’s film journalist Jason Solomons writes in an article published on November 25: “You may measure your year in shopping days until Christmas or weeks until the end of term but in the film industry, it’s all about awards season. And it starts now. … I find the Oscar nominations rarely represent the best film or performances of the year - they reflect, rather, what the studio bosses want us to think are the best films of the year. Personally, I trawl through my diary and mark down anything I’ve enjoyed since January, whether it’s a tiny foreign language release, an ICA documentary or a blockbuster. I have just done an annual stock-take, which offered up: Eastern Promises, My Name is Albert Ayler, Days of Glory (Indigenes), Blades of Glory, This Is England, Zodiac, Hairspray, Breach, The Bourne Ultimatum and Blame it on Fidel. And if that jogs a hovering pen in the direction of any of those films, then wonderful…” Read more
Not everyone knows that the actor Viggo Mortensen also runs a publishing company called Perceval Press. The film is under We Recommend. Read more
The film will be shown as one of eight films in the series “Documentaries of the Year” at Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. The film screens three times at the ICA Cinema, Dec 22 6:45pm, Dec 27 8:45pm & Dec 29 9:00pm. Read more
We want to say thanks to all of you who came to see the film during the week at Anthology Film Archives in New York, and you were many. Several of the nights were totally sold out. Filmmaker and producer Kasper Collin stayed in New York for the entire premiere run and besides the announced Q&A at the premiere evening Nov 8 he did unannounced sessions with the audience during the week. Kasper also followed the film to Athens, Georgia for showings at the fine new arthouse cinema Ciné and to Albert’s native town Cleveland, Ohio for screenings at their legendary Cinematheque. Thanks all of you who came to the screenings and who stayed for Q&As. Special thanks to Albert’s father Edward Ayler with company that attended the premiere screening in Cleveland and bass player Bill Folwell who flew in from Florida for the premiere in New York. And to all of you who emails us and asks when the film is coming back to New York we can say that the film hopefully will return to a theatre on Manhattan early next year. More news on this shortly.
Link to an interview with Kasper Collin at WCPN radio made by Bobby Jackson.
New York Sun writes: “Mr. Collin’s film skillfully engages the facts, personalities, and sounds of Ayler’s relentlessly visionary life with such an astute combination of ardent affection and sensitive journalistic equipoise that it puts most latter-day documentaries about cult musicians to shame.” And Village Voice says: “Swedish filmmaker Kasper Collin’s melancholy, beautiful feature debut does more than just chronicle this undervalued musician; it brings Ayler and his message of spiritual unity back to life.”
“Collin’s documentary portrait of the great saxophonist, who died in 1970, evinces a remarkable sympathy with its subject and his art. … The stirring presence and fascinating anecdotes of such bandmates as the drummer Sunny Murray, the judicious, evocative use of archival footage of New York in the mid-sixties, and a generous helping of the music itself combine to offer magical moments of a madeleine-like power, summoning up a vanished world that the music both thrived on and exemplified.” Read more
The film was selected and listed as Film Of The Day for Friday Nov 9 2007. Published in Time Out New York, ISSUE 632, NOV 8-14, 2007.
My Name Is Albert Ayler will have its first New York screening when it opens for a New York City theatrical premiere run on November 8 at Anthology Film Archives. Thursday, November 8 through Wednesday, November 14 at 7:00 %26 9:00. Additional screenings on Saturday and Sunday at 5:00. Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue (@ 2nd St.) NYC, (212) 505-5181, www.anthologyfilmarchives.org
My Name Is Albert Ayler won the main award at the Musixine International Music Film Contest in Oulu, Finland. Ten new music films were selected for the competition and the Jury was led by Aida LiPera from Edinburgh International Film Festival. Jury’s description of the winner film: “A sensitive approach to the subject-matter and relationships explored in the film, combined with judiciously chosen archive material and a captivating editing style, create an emotionally resonant and fascinating portrait of a gifted and innovative jazz artist. An insightful, mature and moving documentary film with a superb soundtrack which ably demonstrates the affinity between music and film.