Who's Crazy?

Accompanied by a frenetic original soundtrack by the great Ornette Coleman, insane asylum inmates escape their confinement and hole up in a deserted Belgian farmhouse, where... Read more

Who's Crazy?

Directed by Thomas White

Year: 1966
Running Time: 73
Color Type: Black & White
Country: Belgium, U.S.
Language: English
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Who's Crazy?

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Directed by Thomas White
Composed by Ornette Coleman


Accompanied by a frenetic original soundtrack by the great Ornette Coleman, insane asylum inmates escape their confinement and hole up in a deserted Belgian farmhouse, where they cook large quantities of eggs and condemn one of their own in an impromptu court. The actors don’t have much need for words when they can dance around, light things on fire, and drip hot wax on each other instead. Ornette Coleman and the other members of his trio – David Izenzon and Charles Moffett – recorded their score for WHO’S CRAZY? in one go while the film was projected for them, and the result feels like a bizarre silent film with the greatest possible accompaniment. The soundtrack also features a young Marianne Faithfull singing what are probably her most experimental riffs – written for her especially by Ornette – as she asks, “Is God man? Is man God?” in an original track titled “Sadness.”

WHO’S CRAZY? was long thought to be lost by jazz-on-film scholars and the Library of Congress. In early 2015, the only surviving copy of the film, a 35mm print struck for the film’s debut at Cannes in 1966, was salvaged from director Thomas White’s garage after sitting on a shelf there for decades. Ornette’s soundtrack exists as a hard-to-find LP, but audiences have never before had the opportunity to see what Ornette saw when he composed it. The cast consists of actors from New York’s experimental theater troupe, the Living Theatre, who also performed in Shirley Clarke’s THE CONNECTION; and speaking of connections, Clarke would later direct the fantastic ORNETTE: MADE IN AMERICA (1984). The 35mm print of WHO’S CRAZY? was repaired by John Klacsmann, archivist at Anthology Film Archives.

Reviews

"It's almost Dali."

“A cinematic thrill that deserves an honored place in the history books.”

“An anarchic rave with a wacky new-wave flavor.”

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PLAYDATES

Venue City Date
International House Philadelphia 1500609600July 21, 2017
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Houston 1497672000June 17, 2017
Belcourt Theatre Nashville 1497240000June 12, 2017
Cleveland Cinematheque Cleveland 14956848005/25 & 5/28
Roxie Theater San Francisco 1495598400May 24, 2017
Guild Cinema Albuquerque 1493006400April 24 - April 26, 2017
Grand Illusion Cinema Seattle 1492747200April 21 - April 27, 2017
Cinefamily Los Angeles 1491019200April 1 - April 2, 2017
Film Society of Lincoln Center New York 1489122000March 10 - March 16, 2017


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