Telluride Film Festival: "The Jazz Baroness"

[click “Play” to hear Susan’s conversation with Hannah Rothschild]

HBO contact sheet Jazz Baroness Hannah Rothschild’s “The Jazz Baroness” hit a high note at the Telluride Film Festival, the documentary’s North American premiere.

Like jazz itself, “The Jazz Baroness” is based on a melodic line – the leitmotif is Rothschild’s great aunt,  Baronness Pannonica de Koenigwarter or “Nica, ” an exotic beauty and mother of five, who left home in 1951 headed for New York in search of the man who wrote ‘Round Midnight. Variations on the “melody,”  the improv, is provided by virtuosic friends, jazz musicians and historians – Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, Thelonius Monk junior, Roy Haynes, and Curtis Fuller among them – whose lives were touched by the exotic butterfly. The Duchess of Devonshire and other luminaries tell their side of the story too. Rothschild is the bandleader, deftly, sensitively defining the rhythm and pace of her ensemble cast, debunking myths, replacing scandal with fact.

Hannah_Rothschild_004 After studying history at Oxford University, Hannah Rothschild joined the BBC’s Music and Arts department, where she created profiles of artists, writers, and filmmakers as diverse as Auerbach, Sickert, Picasso, Eisenstein, Kitaj and Satyajit Ray.
Today, she writes for newspapers and magazines including Vanity Fair, The Telegraph, The Times, The New York Times, The Spectator, British and American Vogue.

To learn more about growing up Rothschild and the subject of the documentary, click the “play” button and listen to Hannah’s podcast.

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