Charles Mingus 15Today I watched the documentary Mingus: Charlie Mingus at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, it was part of the Afro Punk program. Ah! the pleasures of watching old fashioned direct cinema documentaries. No frantic editing and extensive producing, forcing the film to tell a “story” that feeds you every little detail so that you don’t actually have to do any work on your own. The film was shot the night before Mingus was being evicted from his studio in the late 60s, interspersed with concert footage shot in jazz clubs. Mingus holds forth on race, history, landlords, plays with his five year old daughter, plays the piano, shoots a gun, and the film is content to let him be. For some reason I imagined Mingus would be grumpy, and in a bad mood, so I was taken aback at the casual brilliance and charisma of the man. And he was funny. His oath of allegiance to the flag is not be missed.