Essential lockdown viewing and the perfect gateway into “cool jazz” legend Chet Baker.
Let’s Get Lost, Bruce Weber’s monochromatic masterpiece on “cool jazz” great Chet Baker, is a beautiful portrait of a tragic artist whose decades of substance abuse left him frail, beaten, and ultimately dead. The film was released just four months after Baker died in a drug-related accident falling from his second story hotel room window in Amsterdam.
The documentary plays out more like a dreamy noir than your typical jazz documentary and follows the present day, broken and skeleton-like Baker through the beaches of Santa Monica, to recording studios in Los Angeles, to South France while juxtaposing these haunting scenes with photos and videos of the young chiseled Baker that was promised to be James Dean, Frank Sinatra, and Bix Beiderbecke, rolled into one.
Weber’s brilliant portrayal captures all the charm, genius, and many flaws of the enigmatic trumpet player. Scenes of Baker’s exquisite playing are given equal runtime with family and past lovers’ stories of Baker’s constant absence, abuse, and addiction.
“Love and fascination… That’s mystique, but that isn’t necessarily real and that’s what takes a long, long time to figure out. To separate one’s gift from one’s self.” – Ruth Young