Let`s Get Lost - film press plus



Let`s Get Lost - film press plus
CAROL BAKER Born in England, the third wife of Chet Baker;
estranged from Chet, but never divorced. Now lives in Stillwater,
Oklahoma, with her three children by Chet
VERA BAKER Chet Baker’s mother; now lives in Stillwater
PAUL, DEAN & MISSY BAKER The three children of Chet and
Carol Baker
DICK BOCK Founder of Pacific Jazz, the first label to record Chet
WILLIAM CLAXTON Photographer whose pictures of Chet in
the 50s did much to promote the young musician’s image as “the James
Dean of Jazz”
FLEA Member of the rock group The Red Hot Chilli Peppers; Chet
Baker look-alike and fan
ANDY MINSKER Boxer and Chet Baker look-alike; subject of Broken
Noses, Bruce Weber’s first film
LAWRENCE TRIMBLE Screenwriter and Chet Baker Fan
Bruce Weber
JOYCE NIGHT TUCKER Singer and early girlfriend of Chet
CHERRY VANILLA Former singer, conducts some of the interviews
in the film
DIANE VAVRA Drummer, Chet’s most recent girlfriend
RUTH YOUNG Singer; Chet’s girlfriend for ten years
Seen in photographs only:
HERSH HAMEL Musician who played with Chet in the early days
CHARLAINE BAKER Chet’s first wife
CHRIS ISAAK Singer, sits in on the film’s recording session
HALIMA BAKER Chet’s second wife, born of Pakistani and East
Indian parents
LISA MARIE Voluptuous young actress/model; appears in the Santa
Monica scenes among others
Little Bear Films and
Nan Bush present
a film by
JACK SHELDON Colorful trumpet player, knew Chet in the
early days
CHESNEY BAKER Chet and Halima’s son
Let’s Get Lost
Directed and produced by Executive producer Director of photography Edited by Associate producer Line producer Sound editor Dialogue editor BRUCE WEBER
Music editor Musicians Re-recording mixer Produced by JOSEPH S. DEBEASI
Chet Baker
LET’S GET LOST will be re-released in the UK by METRODOME on June 6, 2008 and in France by WILDSIDE on July 23, 2008.
1988, 119 minutes, 35mm, black and white, mono sound
To access press-ready stills from LET’S GET LOST go to: ftp.littlebearinc.com
username: lglpress password: imagination
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Internationally renowned photographer/filmmaker Bruce
Weber’s second feature LET’S GET LOST received an
Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary. The
film presents the story of the late jazz great Chet Baker.
Upon its release, LET’S GET LOST was a sensation
at several international film festivals, including the 1989
“New Directors/New Films” series at the Museum
of Modern Art in New York, and at the Venice Film
Festival, where it won the prestigious Critics’ Prize.
Coast to continental Europe, during what turned out
to be the last year of the musician’s life. Weber captures
some of Baker’s last recording sessions and weaves
together excerpts from Italian B movies starring the
handsome young Chet, rare performance footage, and
candid interviews with Baker, musicians, friends,
battling ex-wives and children. These varied elements
comprise a visual dimension that is becoming the
filmmaker’s personal stamp.
LET’S GET LOST, also the name of a long
out-of-print Baker tune, aptly describes the driving force
of this man and his music. His James Dean looks and
cool sound set Baker apart from the other musicians of
his time, but his ongoing issues with a narcotic addiction
also gave a generation of jazz fans a “Doomed Youth” of
their very own. Chet Baker’s life plays out like a Kerouac
creation, as did his death (he fell out of an Amsterdam
hotel window on Friday the 13th, 1988, at the age of 58).
But out of his life came some of the most lyrical trumpet
playing and jazz vocals ever heard.
The soundtrack album, “Chet Baker Sings and Plays
from the album “LET’S GET LOST”, has been released
on LP and CD on the RCA/Novus Records label. This
soundtrack, consisting of newly recorded music, may
very well contain Chet Baker’s last recordings. Produced
during the making of the film, the album was recorded in
Hollywood and Paris and mixed in New York. Included
are such memorable songs as “Imagination,” “My One
and Only Love,” “Almost Blue,” and “You’re my Thrill.”
Following the elusive and digressive nature of their star,
Weber, cinematographer Jeff Preiss, and crew went on
the road with Baker from the West Coast to the East
A Film Journal, Bruce Weber’s companion book to
LET’S GET LOST, with photos by Weber, William
Claxton (who first captured the jazz star in the 50s) and
others, has been published by Little Bear Press.
“We didn’t sit down and say, ‘we’re going to do a two-hour film on Chet
Baker’” says Nan Bush, executive producer of LET’S GET LOST. “The
whole thing came about by accident...
“Bruce was having an exhibition at the Whitney Biennial and he wanted
to include a picture of Chet, who was appearing at a little club in New
York at the same time. So we went over and met him. We loved Chet
and his music – idolized him, really. And when Bruce got the pictures
back, he was so excited that he called his cameraman, Jeff Preiss, and
asked if he could come up to Chet’s apartment and do a bit of filming
with his Bolex.”
The spark of excitement caused by a second shoot at an L.A. recording
studio led to their commitment to a full-blown project. It also
committed Bruce Weber and Nan Bush to a most unreliable protagonist.
“It was always difficult to track him down,” says Nan Bush. “We had to
line up a crew and a studio, plan the logistics, and we never knew if he
was really going to make it. Chet didn’t live by the rules most people live
by. We had a line producer whose patience was tested beyond all limits.
She would be on the phone with him, sometimes all night, talking him
through things, dealing with his girlfriend, whatever. One time the crew
spent an entire day setting up for a shoot, only to have Chet came back
from Europe a day late. Then at the end of our L.A. shooting, he said “to
hell with it,” and Bruce was ready to forget it, too. A moment later Chet
tapped Bruce on the shoulder, looking amazingly handsome, all pulled
together and ready to go. You could never tell from one moment to the
next whether he was going to get up and leave, haul off and slug you, or
if he was going to sit and be as charming as he could be.”
Baker’s unpredictability was compounded by his poor business
dealings, which prevented the production from using several music
tracks that Bruce Weber had selected for the film. Filming was even
sidetracked sometimes by Baker’s selective memory.
“There’s one scene towards the end when we asked him whether his
children had any interest in music,” recalls Nan Bush, “And he said he
didn’t think so, but that his other son by another wife did. Bruce almost
dropped the camera. No one ever told us he had a son by another wife.
Chet had never told us about him. And those kinds of things were so
exasperating, because we’d ask him over and over again, ‘Is there anyone
we should try to find for the film?’ But Chet was not very giving of
The problems of making LET’S GET LOST only pulled Bruce Weber
further into the film and offered him the opportunity to make some
unorthodox choices – much as Baker did with his music.
Bill Claxton, the photographer, told me when Charlie Parker first
heard Chet play, he called Miles Davis and Dizzie Gillespie and
said, “There’s a little white cat out here who’s going to give you a lot
of trouble.” Charlaine, Chet’s first wife, told us how Chet used to
play the trumpet in the shower because he thought it was good for
the sound. Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell used to sit at the front
table at The Haig in the 50s to hear Chet and Gerry Mulligan play
together. Someone told me he used to walk from Paris to Rome to
cool out. Sam Shepard told me how he walked into Charlie Mingus’
house and saw this man hanging out in jodhpurs and a crop with no
shirt on. Of course, it was Chet. Supposedly he was once introduced
to James Dean on the street in New York City in the early 50s.
He just said “Hi” and walked away. I say in the film, “Everybody has
a story about Chet Baker.” I made the film with Chet because
I wanted to have my own story about him.
At first I wanted to do some more photographs of him, but he seemed
kind of frail, so I thought maybe we should do a little three minute
film on him, because you never knew whether you would see him
again, from day-to-day. He’d just disappear, go on the road, with no
phone number, no address, no way of reaching him. I thought making
this film was a way to have something of the way he moves and talks,
along with his music.
I had know about Chet Baker since I was fourteen, when I bought
the album “Let’s Get Lost & Other Songs.” The cover photo was
taken by William Claxton. I was very familiar with the man and his
music way before we actually met, so my approach to Chet’s story
was alot like the song “Love and Fascination.” That’s what it’s all
about. The film was as much an involvement of the whole cast
and crew as it was about Chet. It was about being illusioned and
disillusioned and illusioned all over again by a hero. Nothing was
what you thought it was going to be, but I think Chet’s main
desire was to make beautiful music no matter what problems he had
going on in his own personal life.
Dick Bock, the founder of Pacific Jazz Records, thought that Chet
sounded like he was the history of jazz. He was Louis Armstrong,
Bix Beiderbecke, and Bunny Berrigan all rolled into one. His music
brings you the romance of the beach, the sea, and the moonlight no
matter where in the world you are hanging out.
I’m a big fan of some of David Wolper’s documentaries, and the
whole idea that documentaries should be like features, that they
should entertain people and not just give fact after fact. Sometimes
Chet would tell a story and we would be spellbound, but the next
day we’d find out it wasn’t even true. And yet, I still believe some
of those stories. Maybe he was a good actor, maybe it really was
the truth, and maybe the person who said it was lying. I feel that
sometimes documentaries are so based on fact and truth that there’s
no mystery left.
We didn’t create events for Chet in the film; we let certain scenes
happen. One time, we had planned to shoot on the beach, but Chet
was so late that we found some stray pups and filmed them instead.
They kind of reminded me of all those cool west coast cats who
made such special music.
Why the kids at Venice Beach? You see Chet at the age of 24, was
this hot young musician who played with Charlie Parker, and even
at the age of 58, he was still 24 in his head. If I’d gotten together
a bunch of old musicians to sit around with him, he would have
walked right out. He didn’t see himself as a 58-year-old with lines on
his face. He saw himself as one of those kids.
My cinematographer Jeff Preiss and I worked closely to make the
film a mixture of black and white reversal film and a little bit of 8mm.
We wanted our film to fit with the look of the archival footage.
I’ve known William Claxton since I was nineteen and going to NYU
Film School. He photographed me and put me in one of his short
films. Chet’s early album covers introduced me to Bill’s photographs
of the jazz world.
People sometimes feel your photography and your film work shouldn’t
collide. I always start a film by taking photographs and filming at
the same time. It was my desire to make films like the content of my
photographs – whatever that might be. Talking too much about it
ruins it for me.
Robert Mitchum was Chet’s and my favorite actor, so when I finished
LET’S GET LOST, I started to work on a musical film about Bob.
The idea originated from a book by Bob and his brother John called
Them Ornery Mitchum Boys! Marianne Faithfull, Rickie Lee Jones,
and Dr. John joined us and it became a wild ride. Chet’s film was my
Harvard and my Marine bootcamp – it got me ready to make a film
about the original bad boy of Hollywood, my pal Bob Mitchum.
Bruce Weber was born on March 29, 1946 in Greenburg, Pennsylvania.
An internationally acclaimed photographer and filmmaker, he has
photographed for most major magazines and has 23 books to his credit.
His work has been exhibited in over 60 gallery shows and museums
around the world and his photographs are in the permanent collections
of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum as well as in the Photography
Division of the City of Paris.
Bruce Weber is equally acclaimed for his filmmaking and has produced
a total of five feature length and short films. His first and second films,
BROKEN NOSES and LET’S GET LOST won best Documentary
awards from the International Documentary Association. LET’S GET
LOST was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary. The film’s soundtrack rose to number one on the charts and is
the best-selling Chet Baker collection in history. He is currently finishing
his long-awaited film about Robert Mitchum due to be released in
late 2008. Mr Weber has also directed music videos for Chris Isaac and
the Pet Shop Boys, the latter winning music week’s “Video of the Year”.
He has directed commercials for Calvin Klein, Banana Republic, Jill
Sander, Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch, Volvo and Dior Homme.
Bruce Weber lives in New York City.
Broken Noses 1987
Winner - International Documentary Association Award
Sundance Film Festival 1988, Grand Jury Prize Nominee
Starring Andy Minsker and the the kids from the
Mt. Scott Boxing Club
The Beauty Brothers 1987 (short)
Starring the Dillon Brothers
Let’s Get Lost 1989
Academy Award Nomination - Best Documentary Feature
Winner - International Critic’s Prize - Venice Film Festival
Winner - International Documentary Association Award
Starring Chet Baker
Backyard Movie 1991 (short)
Even though Chet Baker made close to one hundred records, under his
own name or as a sideman, and for years in the 1950s his name topped
many of the international jazz trumpet polls, few Chet Baker records
remain in print today. But the mythology that grew out of Baker’s
troubled life through his 58 years has always been available, even when
the man (and the artist) faltered later in his life.
Born in Oklahoma in 1929, the trumpeter’s early career was attended
with phenomenal success. At the age of 24 Baker was playing as a
sideman with Charlie Parker in Los Angeles, and in the same year he
joined baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan’s famous piano-less quartet.
Baker’s lyrical, skating trumpet lines and imitable plaintive were his
strengths; when he formed his own groups, especially with composers like
Russ Freeman and Dick Twardzik, Chet’s limited range and technique –
musicians called him an intuitive player—expanded, and he reached his
critical high-water mark in the mid 1950s, when he produced a number
of excellent albums, including “Chet Baker in Paris” (1955).
Living in Europe, Baker’s career began to suffer from narcotics, arrests,
failed marriages (which produced four children, none of whom he lived
with) and a critical backlash against his “cool” sound. He attempted
a number of comebacks, recorded some albums on European labels –
presumably for expedient cash – and, in the late 60s, back in the U.S.,
received a solid blow to his career when his teeth were knocked out in a
fight in San Francisco.
In his later years, Baker turned more and more to singing, and his vocals
have the same plaintive and intimate quality that distinguished his
trumpet playing, which he returned to as well. But the myth, inseparable
from the man, continued intact. The good looks, youth, and fragile,
introverted tone that attracted a cult following in the 50s – which his
subsequent track record did nothing to dispel – brought filmmaker
and photographer Bruce Weber to Chet Baker in 1987. The result is
new Chet Baker music and myth in the form of LET’S GET LOST.
Gentle Giants 1994 (short)
Dedicated to River Phoenix
The Teddy Boys of the Edwardian Drape Society 1996 (short)
Chop Suey 2000
Winner - Teddy Awards Special Mention - Berlin Film Festival 2001
Starring Peter Johnson and Frances Faye
A Letter to True 2003
Starring True, Tai, Dirk Bogarde
Voiceover by Marianne Faithfull and Julie Christie
Wine and Cupcakes 2007 (short)
Starring Angela McCluskey and Paul Cantelon
Nice Girls Don’t Stay For Breakfast (in development)
Starring Robert Mitchum, Dr. John, Marianne Faithfull, Rickie Lee Jones