“Bolden” is coming, whether we like it or not.
Hyatt Hotels heir Dan Pritzker filmed his movie twice, once with Anthony Mackie as the little known jazz legend. Jackie Earle Haley co-starred. Then he made it a second time with Gary Carr as Charles “Buddy” Bolden playing the trumpet in New Orleans at the end of the 1800s.
At the time that I wrote about “Bolden” with Mackie, Pritzker had already spent upwards of $100 million. No one will ever know how much he spent the second time. He’s kind of self-releasing with small, independent distributor Abramorama.
“Bolden” will play in one theater in Manhattan, at the Landmark 57 off the West Side Highway, and it will not show up in West Hollywood or Hollywood. It’s going into a handful of theaters– just 1 in New Orleans, where it’s set, and a couple in Chicago, where Pritzker lives.
I haven’t seen “Bolden” because I missed a screening this week (prior commitment). And that’s it, I think. But people who’ve seen it say “Bolden” looks great but is incoherent. There are evidently strange edits and cuts, possibly mixing material from the two different versions.
As far as I know, there’s no premiere for “Bolden.” It’s just being coughed up like a hair ball and landing wherever. You’d think after a decade and hundreds of millions of bucks, there would be some fanfare. Party at a Hyatt House maybe. But no.
The music, of course, is going to be sensational. The soundtrack and the performances were put together by Wynton Marsalis. He’s the top jazz guy in the world.
Back in May 2012, Pritzker told me: “I’m in no hurry. If I were doing this to make money, I wouldn’t have made a movie. I’m not a filmmaker.” He told me then the movie would be ready in 12 to 18 months. That was seven years ago. He said, “There’s no financial peril, either. If “Bolden!” never makes any money, Pritzker told me, ”It won’t affect my life.”
Well, we’ve always got that soundtrack. Gorgeous.