- Directors: Bruce Weber
- Format: PAL
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Metrodome
- DVD Release Date: 28 July 2008
- Run Time: 120 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 29 customer reviews
- ASIN: B0019J2UAE
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,994 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Let's Get Lost  [DVD]
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Internationally renowned photographer/filmmaker Bruce Weber created a stunning feature with Let's Get Lost, his Academy Award nominated film about the late jazz great Chet Baker. Following the elusive and digressive nature of the star, Weber and crew went on the road with Baker from the West Coast to the East Coast to Continental Europe, during what turned out to be the last year of the musician's life. Wever captures some of Baker's last recording sessions; weaves in excerpts from Italian B movies starring the handsome young Chet, as well as rare performance footage; pauses for candid interviews with Baker, musicians, friends, battling ex-wives and children and adds an extra visual dimension that is becoming the filmmaker's personal stamp.
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The last was in 1986 when he was playing at Ronnie Scott's.
During the interval, I went backstage and knocked on the dressing room door.
Chet was sitting alone, smoking a cigarette. He greeted me in a warm and welcoming manner and
after I'd introduced myself, he chatted to me for ten minutes about his music and his life.
I mentioned that I'd first seen him play at Ronnie's Old Place, in Gerrard Street, in the early 1960s,
when he sat in during Dexter Gordon's first visit to the club. He claimed to remember it too - he
certainly recalled the beautiful Italian girl I described him walking in with. What I didn't remind him
was the fact that he played three tunes with Dexter and turned his back to the audience throughout.
He was strung out that day - as he would be so many times in his tragic life.
But he did leave us with some beautiful music.
Some of it is on this disc.
He was a musician and singer who took the world of jazz by storm, playing the clubs of 1940's and 50's New York and then the world. His life was blighted by heroin addiction and a wild lifestyle, disastrous love affairs and estranged wives and children but you cannot help being charmed by his interveiws and the people who knew, loved and worked with him.
The music is extraordinary, and carries the film through what might have been its more self indulgent moments. It is cleverly set into context by the commentary from all the talking heads.
Some of the speakers are knowledgeable and insightful, but there is plenty of pleasure is to be gained from listening to his various lovers and wives bitching about each other, which certainly ensures that this is no hagiography.
Perhaps the best bits are when Bruce shows Chet getting angry - when questioned by young fans comparing him unfavourably to Miles Davies, or when being asked to play over the conversation of clubbers.
In the end, you get an extraordinary picture of the man and his work.
What an attractive young man with the look of Tab Hunter and the cool smoldering appeal of James Deen. And what a wreck he became after years of abusing every type of substance that came his way. Yet the appeal was still there to the end as seen in one of his final club performances. The almost whispering, melodic voice could still bend the lyrics so movingly and his horn playing although not as in his early years was still a joy to hear. It is neither right or fair to compare him to Miles Davis nor indeed to anyone else. He was an original Chet Baker.
I have been a fan for some fifty years [see my report on The Best of Chet Baker Sings] and I thought that I knew a fair bit about him, but after viewing this movie I realize that there were big gaps in my knowledge. I didn't know that this film existed until I was recently given this DVD and I enjoyed every one of the one hundred and twenty minutes.
His addictions may have diminished his talent or perhaps enhanced it. We will never know. We do know, as witnessed here,that the result of years of his addictions is the sad physical deterioration ending in his death; an old man of only fifty eight years.
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Do yourself a favour, make better use of your two hours, just put a Chet Baker album or two on.