Directed by Robert Mugge • 1980 • United States
Starring Sun Ra, June Tyson, Danny Thompson
Years ahead of his time, composer, keyboardist, bandleader, poet, and philosopher Sun Ra coupled images of outer space with those of ancient Egypt, acoustic instruments with electronic ones, and modern American musical genres (jazz, soul, gospel, blues, swing) with the sounds of Africa and the Caribbean. He also combined his music with dance, poetry, colorful costumes and backdrops, and pure theatricality and was among the first musicians to use electronic keyboards and portable synthesizers in public performance. For this definitive documentary, filmmaker Robert Mugge spent two years shooting Sun Ra and members of his jazz Arkestra, capturing thrilling performances, rehearsals, Sun Ra’s poetry and mythological pronouncements, and interviews with the band members at the home they shared in Philadelphia.