Ornette Coleman: A Jazz Video Game

Shirley Clarke

Short film

In this short, magical film experiment, independent film pioneer Shirley Clarke interprets the musical universe of jazz giant Ornette Coleman in best Afrofuturist tradition. With breathless echo effects, superimpositions and artificial light reflections, younger versions of Coleman lose themselves in slot machines, turn gravel into glass marbles and vanish into video-animated supernatural light. – Ines Johnson-Spain

In cooperation with Blonde Cobra


Shirley Clarke


Ornette Coleman


Ornette Coleman, Demon Marshall


Milestone Films

Shirley Clarke

Shirley Clarke (1919–1997) began her career as a dancer and choreographer, but then turned primarily to film. In 1954, she studied film at New York City College. She later became a member of the Independent Film Makers of America. She is a co-founder of the Film Makers Cooperative. From 1975, she taught film at the University of California. At this time, she also returned to dance, producing live video performances with Andy Warhol’s superstar Viva.

Films by Shirley Clarke (Selection)
Ornette: Made in America 1984 | Tongues 1982 | Savage/Love 1981 | Trans 1978 | Portrait of Jason 1967 | The Cool World. Robert Frost: A Lover’s Quarrel with the World 1963 | The Connection 1961 | The Skyscraper 1960 | A Moment in Love 1955 | In Paris Parks 1954 | A Dance in the Sun 1953