Andreas Koefoed, Jørgen Leth / Denmark / 2022

What does it mean to play? How does it feel to listen? COLD & WARM is an ode to the power of music. Expressed by an ensemble of the world’s most influential jazz musicians, directed by two of Denmark’s most prolific filmmakers.

COLD & WARM is like a grand catalogue of great musicians. For them, music is a way of being. Through images, music and words, we discover the art-form that keeps them alive.

What does it mean to play? How does it feel to listen? As Director Jørgen Leth poses existential questions to the musicians, long pauses occur. Because is it even possible to put the emotions of music into words?

COLD & WARM is about being present in the now, about playing and improvising, about creating something you’ve never heard before. About listening, devoting yourself, finding the space to create a connection to something bigger than yourself.

The multiple characters and scenes are subtly linked by Danish guitarist Jakob Bro, who over two decades has brought together some of the world’s leading musicians in various constellations. Bro is not the film’s main character in the typical sense, since there is none. Yet the musical constellations arise due to his initiative. His gentle and visionary being pervades the film. A sense of coherence emerges. A rare insight into what it means to create. A feeling of eternity.

COLD & WARM is a cinematic improvisation piece, and its form is that of the catalogue. Scenes are uneven in length and irregular in form. The film improvises as it goes. The music and the human experiences tie the scenes together. Time may flow through the scenes, with the tension being kept.

The characters wake up, rehearse, record, perform and talk about music. In some moments they are on the edge, the edge of existence, constantly challenging themselves. The music must be fragile and honest, for the haughty and self-assured does not move us.

The film is shot over many years, from 2008 until present day. It has come into being through a first-time collaboration between prolific Danish film directors Jørgen Leth and Andreas Koefoed, editor Adam Nielsen and producer Emile Hertling Péronard.

Cast of characters:
Lee Konitz, Bill Frisell, Thomas Morgan, Joey Baron, Mark Turner, Jorge Rossy, Larry Grenadier, Manfred Eicher, Palle Mikkelborg, Marilyn Mazur, Kenny Wheeler, Maria Laurette Friis, Jakob Bro, Paul Motian, Anders Christensen, Ambrose Akinmusire, Arve Henriksen and more.