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Very much a work of its time, the documentary offers unique perspectives for fans of both the saxophonist and the pioneering filmmaker, but is unlikely to attract a broad audience beyond those camps.
Clarke started out as a dancer studying with Martha Graham, and much of Ornette has a dancelike swing and propulsion. What it doesn't provide is a cogent look at Coleman's artistry. This is not a jazz film for people who want to sit back and get mellow. The film itself is a species of jazz. It's offbeat without missing the beat.
Years after its initial release, Ornette: Made in America, part of Milestone's continuing "Project Shirley," still feels fresh - its moves always surprising, yet always somehow perfect.