Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Laurie Pepper Working on Film

Art Pepper’s autobiography Straight Life, written with his wife Laurie, ranks as one of the most honest and brutal autobiographies ever written by a musician. The tale of a hard life ending in triumph inevitably suggested possibilities for a film, but Laurie did not succeed at translating words into cinema, for various reasons. Laurie’s cinematic ambitions were not quashed, however, and now, 19 years after Art’s death, she is making a film titled Straight Life about her attempts “over the years to make this movie” about her husband. And she would like any help she can get.

Pepper, the producer, director, editor, location scout, and set designer for the nascent cinematic essay, claims the new film will show audiences “the background, insight, and humor inherent in the making of a movie,” or at least the making of a movie which was never made. Of more interest to jazz fans will be the image, voice and music of Pepper, some of which will be present in Straight Life. James Intveld will take the role of the great altoist in those scenes for which suitable Art footage cannot be located.

Other things, however, must be located for the film to come to fruition. Period props are in desperate demand, as are the other basic stuffs of cinema: “We need actors and technicians. We especially, right now, need three musicians to play Red Garland, Philly Joe Jones, and Paul Chambers [for the ‘Meets the Rhythm Section’ session]. We need a sordid, stark hotel room.” The list does not end there. To offer assistance, contact Laurie at [email protected]

Originally Published