MAD is closed today

Passing Through

Fri, Nov 4 / 7 pm

Passing Through
Larry Clark, 1977
105 min, Digital Video

Eddie Warmack, a black jazz musician, is released from prison after killing a white gangster. Not willing to play for the mobsters who control the music industry, Warmack searches for his mentor and grandfather, legendary jazz musician Poppa Harris. With Passing Through, director Larry Clark posits that jazz is one of the purest expressions of black culture, embodying the struggles of generations, and that it is now exploited by a white culture that uses it for profit. The opening seven-minute credit sequence is a feverish homage to the genre’s musicians, while the film’s concert footage is an abstract riot of reds, whites, and blues. An unattributed quotation from a French critic refers to Passing Through as “the only jazz film in the history of cinema.”

Digital restoration courtesy of UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Get Updates from MAD

* indicates required