Jacques & Louis

2009. Video, 6’30 min.

Paris Blues (1961) is an American feature film by Martin Ritt, made on location in Paris, starring Sidney Poitier as expatriate jazz musician Eddie Cook, and Paul Newman as trombone-playing Ram Bowen. The film deals with American racism of the time, contrasted with Paris's somehow kinder treatment of African Americans. 

One scene takes place in a Paris' jazz club, where Louis Armstrong performs a virtuous act. Accompanying him in the background, together with other musicians, we find the trumpeter Jacques Butler. In Lange's adapted split-screen and edited version of the club scene, Jacques Butler is "pulled" into the frontline, in communication with Louis Armstrong. In this way his presence changes from that of a supporting role to the one of a protagonist.