Monk's image in various cinematic biographies is puzzling and contradictory. Gabbard argues that films on Monk tell us as much about the inherent difficulties of documentary filmmaking-particularly with respect to jazz-as they do about Monk's life and music. In addition, he suggests that, like many African-American artists, Monk successfully "held up a trickster's mirror to his observers," allowing them to see precisely what they wished to see.
Jazz by Topic:
A Great Day in Harlem, biography, biopic, Charlotte Zwerin, documentary, ethnography, exoticism, film, Jean Bach, Matthew Seig, mental illness, racism, Thelonious Monk