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16th Jecheon International Music & Film Festival

Between a Smile and a Tear
Denmark | 2005 | 102min | 35mm | COLOR | Documentary | Musical


Montmartre Jazz Club in Copenhagen, Denmark was renowned for being the ‘center of European Jazz’. It was a legendary jazz club until the mid 1970s but 30 years have passed since it closed down. Niels Lan Doky, a Danish jazz pianist invited the masters Johnny Griffin, Albert Heath, Toots Thielemans and so on and prepared a glamorous concert. At the end of a practise full of vicissitudes, they play a stunning and impassioned concert and the memories of Montmartre Jazz Club are dimly recollected. In particular, a Norwegian singer Lisa Nilsson s wonderful voice, as well as 76-year-old Jonny Griffin showing a passionate musical performance, and 82-year-old Toots Thielemans always having a laugh, are unforgettable. Niels Lan Doky, a pianist who visited Korea for a concert in 2006 took charge as director and created these well-made images. Just as Toots Thielemans expressed it as ‘between a smile and a tear’, the film is full of melancholy about something fading away and about an optimism transcending time and space through music.

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Niels Lan Doky

Born in 1963 in Denmark. Danish/Vietnamese pianist, composer, and producer Niels Lan Doky has released a total of 26 albums as a lead to date on leading jazz labels such as Milestone, Blue Note, Verve, Columbia and Keystone/VideoArtsMusic. He has been appointed Member of the Music Committee, under the Danish Art Council by the Danish Culture Minister. is his first film director debut.

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