The Anatomy of Cool

It always fascinates me when something considered cool generations ago becomes vintage cool for a contemporary generation. Often the past is a great indicator of what will be cool in the future. Go back around 20 years and you will often find indicators of the trends of today. That 20 year window leaves a great un-mined resource of vintage films, fashion and music to be re-examined and re-packaged for today’s generation. I would like you to consider another film that falls out of this 20 year pattern of appreciation.

The film “Anatomy Of A Murder” (1959) is an American trial court drama directed by Otto Preminger. This film is known for being one of the best trial movies ever made. What stood out to me and most critics of the time was how it incorporated jazz in the musical score. It was the first film to extensively do this. The use of what was the alternative music of the time was a novel approach. The Jazzy opening sequence with music by Duke Ellington and artwork by Saul Bass also added to the cool aesthetic. Imagine yourself as a teenager 1959 not knowing much about what is going on in contemporary pop culture and then you see this trailer or this poster. You may say to yourself ‘This ain’t your daddy’s music,’ and suddenly you wonder about the world outside of your small middle American town. Sound familiar?

Check out the embed below, and if you get a chance to see the movie on TCM or pick it up on Netflix I do recommend.


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