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Rewind & Play

Still from “Rewind & Play“. A close-up of Thelonious Monk
  • Director

    Alain Gomis

  • France, Germany / 2022
    65 min. / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language

    French, English

December 1969, Thelonious Monk in Paris. Before his evening concert, he records a programme for French television.
The rushes show a Thelonious Monk who is in the grip of the violent factory of stereotypes from which he tries to escape.
The film becomes the crossing of this great artist, who would like to exist only for his music. And the portrait in hollow of a media machine as ridiculous as it is revolting.
Here is the machine in action. Deconstructing these rushes as phantasms. To see the factory of caricatures at work. Deaf, smiling, ambiguous, admiring and sickening. To hold the microphone without listening, to marvel without seeing.
Trying to overturn the point of view.
Here is Thelonious going through the ordeal, at work, as if he had landed on a strange planet, where a portrait is being made that he cannot do anything about. Tired by the years spent undergoing this painful exercise.
Fortunately, he plays, and in doing so, he makes more than anything else be said.
“It brings tears to my eyes when I see the shit that my father was going through” (T.S Monk Jr.)
(Alain Gomis)

Alain Gomis, born in 1972 in Paris, France. He studied art history and film. After making videos and short films, his first feature film L’afrance (2002) won the Silver Leopard at Locarno. His last film Félicité was shown at the Competition section of the 2017 Berlinale.

Production Anouk Khélifa, Arnaud Dommerc. Production companies Sphere Films (Paris, France), Andolfi (Paris, France). Director Alain Gomis. Editing Alain Gomis. Sound Matthieu Deniau. Co-production INA. In cooperation with ARTE France – La Lucarne, Les Films du Worso, Schortcut Films, Die Gesellschaft DGS, Studio Orlando. With Thelonious Monk.

Films: 1996: Caramels et chocolats (12 min.). 1998: Tout le monde peut se tromper (8 min.). 1999: Tourbillons / Whirlwinds (13 min.). 2002: L’afrance / As a Man (90 min.). 2003: Petite lumière / Little Light (15 min.). 2006: Ahmed (15 min.). 2008: Andalucia (90 min.). 2012: Aujourd'hui / Today (86 min.). 2017: Félicité (129 min.). 2022: Rewind & Play.

Bonus Material

  • Still from the film “Rewind & Play“. A video image of Thelonious Monk playing the piano in a TV studio.


    In “Retreat into Single Syllables” Diedrich Diederichsen describes REWIND & PLAY as a film about the violence inflicted on artists by commodified stereotypes.

  • Still from the film “Rewind & Play“. A video image of Thelonious Monk playing the piano. Behind him we can see a few men in suits, one of them is clapping. On the piano, there is a microphone.

    Concept Note

    Alain Gomis on what drew him to make a film about Thelonious Monk.

  • Still from the film “Rewind & Play“. A video image of Thelonious Monk standing up in front of a piano. The background is dark, there are some glasses of water on the piano in the foreground.


    Montage of Thelonious Monk's solo performances on French TV programme "Jazz Portrait" in 1969.

Forum Program 2022

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