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Shirley Clarke Would Have Been 92 Today

By Mike Everleth ⋅ October 2, 2011

Shirley Clarke in profile

Today is underground filmmaker Shirley Clarke‘s birthday. She was born on Oct. 2, 1919 and passed away on Sept. 23, 1997.

She is mostly well-known for her two jazz-themed narrative feature films The Connection (1960) and The Cool World (1963); as well as the 1967 documentary, Portrait of Jason. However, she also directed numerous short films, such as Bullfight (1955) and Bridges-Go-Round (1958-59).

In the ’70s and early ’80s, she taught filmmaking at UCLA and continued to make short films, but returned to feature filmmaking with the 1985 documentary Ornette: Made in America.

In the below video, Edinburgh International Film Festival programmer Niall Greig Fulton reviews the retrospective the fest held of Clarke’s work in 2008. The video also includes clips from her films:

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