Some decades ago, before it was rechristened the "East Village," New York's Alphabet City was a destination of true Bohemians, even literally, with the Czechs amongst other Eastern European immigrants. And then, in the late '50's and early '60's came the "intellectuals." Poets, novelists, jazz musicians and political progressives of all colors took up residence in that section of the city, living side by side with the immigrants.
For years San Francisco has been the West Coast playground and refuge of jazz musicians. Since 2013, those artists have had a permanent home at the SFJAZZ Center, the first-ever standalone structure in the country dedicated to jazz. Think of it as a cool opera house, where the beats get funky, the music is often improvised and the roof frequently gets torn off.
"I did it my way..." No, Ethan Hawke doesn't sing those lyrics in this faux bio/film about jazz great Chet Baker. But judging by his thoroughly convincing performance and writer/director Robert Budreau's impressionistic screenplay and artsy direction, that was their mindset during this movie's production.