Sweet and Lowdown tells the story of Emmet Ray, the second greatest jazz guitarist and a first class shit. What makes this film unique is that rather then present Emmet's story as a mockumentary or a straight-forward drama, Woody Allen intersperses snippets of interviews with real jazz buffs talking about these outrageous stories and rumours about Emmet Ray with the fictional biopic.
Little is known about Emmet Ray. He just pops up in jazz history in Thirties Chicago and disappears a few years later after making some records. What is known about him is that he was a drunk, egomaniac, obnoxious, pathetic genius who would rarely show up to gigs, but was at least a snappy dresser. What is supposed about him is that he was a pimp, a kleptomaniac and he so idolized Django Reinhardt (unquestionably the greatest jazz guitarist) that he would cry while listening to his records and faint whenever they were in the same room together. He also had a relationship with a sweet mute named Hattie and a disastrous marriage to a rich wannabe writer named Blanche and he got his kicks by shooting rats at the dump.
What's great about the costumes in this movie is that they don't look like costumes; they look like they've been worn regularly, particularly with the extras. As usual with this month's films, there are some great sets and pretty wallpaper.
Cameo by John Waters