Reviews

On July 1, 2017 Metacritic announced that I Called Him Morgan was the best reviewed movie of first half of 2017. Here below are quotes from some of the reviews the film has received since its world premiere at Venice Film Festival on September 1, 2016.

“FEELS LIKE AN OSCAR WINNER FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE JUST WAITING TO HAPPEN”
Todd VanDerWerff, vox.com

“ONE OF THE BEST FILMS OF THE YEAR”
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“A DELICATE HUMAN DRAMA ABOUT LOVE, AMBITION AND THE GLORIES OF MUSIC.”
A.O. Scott, NY Times

“A FLAT-OUT SUBLIME DOC”
Alison Willmore, BuzzFeed

“KASPER COLLIN’S BRILLIANT FILM PLAYS LIKE FIRST-RATE DRAMA”
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

★★★★★ “SPELLBINDING, MERCURIAL, HALLUCINATORY, EXUBERANT, TRAGIC…”
Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian (5/5 stars)

“DIRECTOR KASPER COLLIN’S MASTERWORK”
Nick Schager, Esquire

“MUSICIANS SOMETIMES PARAPHRASE DEBUSSY, OR ONE ANOTHER, IN SAYING THAT MUSIC IS THE SILENCE BETWEEN THE NOTES. “I CALLED HIM MORGAN” HAS IT ALL—THE NOTES AND THE SILENCE, PLUS THE MUSIC OF SPOKEN LANGUAGE, PITCHED IN RUEFUL TONES OF RECOLLECTION.”
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

“KASPER COLLIN’S SUPERB DOCUMENTARY”
Stephanie Zacharek, TIME Magazine

“THE LIFE AND DEATH OF TRUMPETER LEE MORGAN, SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF HIS WIFE WHO SHOT AND KILLED HIM”
Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

“ULTIMATELY, COLLIN’S FILM IS ONE OF FORGIVENESS. THAT’S NOT THE USUAL WAY GREAT TRAGEDIES END”
G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle

“A VISUAL AND TEXTURAL TRIUMPH… IN COMPLETE SYMPATHY WITH THE MOST WISTFUL CUTS OF ITS SUBJECT’S DISCOGRAPHY”
Guy Lodge, Variety

“KASPER COLLIN MAKES MAGIC… THE MOVIE IS LIKE A RECORD YOU COULD SPIN AGAIN AND AGAIN.”
David Edelstein, New York Magazine

“IT’S BOTH A PORTRAIT OF PEOPLE AND A HISTORICAL LANDSCAPE, A VIRTUAL VISION OF AMERICAN TIMES—THE LIVES OF BLACK AMERICANS IN THE AGE OF JIM CROW AND DE-FACTO DISCRIMINATION IN THE NORTH—AND OF THE ARTISTRY AND PERSONAL STYLE THAT AROSE IN RESPONSE TO THEM.”
Richard Brody, New Yorker

“AS A SLICE OF RECOVERED AND ILLUMINATED TIME, “I CALLED HIM MORGAN” HAS FEW PEERS.”
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“KASPER COLLIN SHOWS A MASTERFUL GRASP OF NON-FICTION FORM”
Nick Schager, The Daily Beast

“LAYERING EXPERIENCES AND IMPRESSIONS, MUSIC AND IMAGE, KASPER COLLIN’S REMARKABLE FILM IS LESS CONCERNED WITH HISTORY THAN WITH EFFECTS, INFLUENCES THAT STRETCH ACROSS TIME, IDEAS THAT SHAPE ART. … IN EXPOSING AND MAKING SENSE OF THE FRAGMENTS AND FAULT LINES OF MEMORIES, I CALLED HIM MORGAN TELLS THE STORIES OF HELEN AND MORGAN—HOW THEY MET, HOW THEY WORKED TOGETHER, HOW THEY APPEARED TO OTHERS. IT ALSO TELLS A STORY OF STORYTELLING, HOW DIFFERENT STRANDS COME TOGETHER AND FALL APART, HOW LISTENERS PARTICIPATE IN THAT PROCESS. IN THIS, THE FILM CONJURES VISUAL RHYTHMS RESEMBLING JAZZ, MONTAGES OF IMAGE AND SOUND PROVIDING NEW WAYS OF CONCEIVING THE MOVEMENTS OF TIME, OF CAUSE AND EFFECT, OF INTERPRETATION. AS IT ARTICULATES LOSS, THE MOVIE ALSO CONTEMPLATES UNDERSTANDING.”
Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters

“KASPER COLLIN’S ABSORBING, KALEIDOSCOPIC DOCUMENTARY… BY TURNS INVIGORATING, STARTLING, MOURNFUL, AND REVELATORY. IT DOES NOT BRING THE PAST INTO THE PRESENT; RATHER, IT TAKES YOU INTO A PERIOD THAT’S GONE AND SHOWS IT TO YOU WITH MORE RICHNESS THAN YOU’VE KNOWN.” Stuart Klawans, The Nation

“KASPER COLLIN’S EXTRAORDINARY FILM I CALLED HIM MORGAN”
Adam Shatz, The Paris Review

“ONE OF THE MOST UNCONVENTIONAL, SPELLBINDING MUSIC-RELATED DOCUMENTARIES EVER MADE.”
Gary Giddins, Telluride Film Festival

ARTISTIC, OBSESSIVE AND INTOXICATING… WHETHER YOU CARE ABOUT JAZZ OR NOT, THE POETRY OF THE FILMMAKING AND THE POIGNANCE OF THE STORY WILL WIN YOU OVER.
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“WATCH I CALLED HIM MORGAN, AND YOU WILL SIT ENRAPTURED. AN EXCEPTIONAL DOCUMENTARY. HAUNTING.”
Dwight Brown, Huffington Post

“COLLIN’S EXCEPTIONAL, ATMOSPHERIC FILM”
David Jenkins, Little White Lies

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO LOVE JAZZ TO BE DRAWN INTO THIS REMARKABLE STORY”
Leonard Maltin, leonardmaltin.com

COLLIN’S IMMERSIVE WORK LUXURIATES IN MOOD AND TEXTURE…
Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

“BRILLIANT, MELANCHOLY, AND SOULFUL DOC”
Howard Feinstein, Filmmaker Magazine

“FROM THE STORY OF ONE COMPLEX RELATIONSHIP, COLLIN BUILDS A RESONANT PORTRAIT OF AN ENDURINGLY INFLUENTIAL SCENE AND ERA.”
Richard Brody, New Yorker

★★★★ “MUSIC SURVIVES EVEN WHEN LOVE KILLS.”
Huffington Post (4/4 stars)

“AN ARTFUL MARRIAGE OF ABSENCES AND PRESENCES. IT BEGINS AND ENDS WITH SNOW FALLING ON MANHATTAN, THE CITY GLISTENING BUT TANTALIZING OUT OF REACH. JUST LIKE LEE MORGAN.”
Sight & Sound, Sukhdev Sandhu

“COLLIN IMBUES THIS DOCUMENTARY WITH AN AMBIGUOUS, UNSETTLINGLY EMPATHETIC EMOTIONAL FORCE.”
Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine

“COLLIN’S REMARKABLE NEW FILM… EMBRACES AMBIGUOUSNESS OF STORY”
Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor

“IF YOU WANT REAL JAZZ, SKIP LA LA LAND AND SEE THIS INSTANT CLASSIC”
Ben Ratiff, Esquire Magazine

“A CELEBRATION OF THESE TWO LIVES AND THE ERA OF MUSIC THAT BOTH CREATED AND DESTROYED THEM.”
Gary Garrison, The Playlist/em>

“WATCHING KASPER COLLIN’S ‘I CALLED HIM MORGAN’ IS A DEEPLY SENSORY EXPERIENCE.”
Caitlin Love, The Paris Review

“THOSE CLOSEST TO LEE ADMIT ON CAMERA THAT, AFTER HATING HELEN FOR SO LONG AFTERWARD, THEY FOUND THEMSELVES ULTIMATELY FORGIVING HER YEARS LATER”
Tim Grierson, Paste Magazine

»KASPER COLLIN’S TRANSFIXING DOCUMENTARY… RECOGNIZES THE JAZZY SPIRIT OF LEE AND HELEN’S DOOMED ROMANCE—AND, ALSO, THE RIFFING-OUR-WAY-FORWARD NATURE OF LIFE ITSELF.”
Nick Schager, Esquire

“THE FANTASTIC CINEMATOGRAPHY BY BRADFORD YOUNG MAKES THIS THE RARE DOCUMENTARY THAT MUST BE SEEN ON A BIG SCREEN”
Odie Henderson, RogerEbert.com

“THERE’S NO SHORTAGE OF POIGNANT MOMENTS IN I CALLED HIM MORGAN, KASPER COLLIN’S MESMERIZING NEW DOCUMENTARY”
Nate Chinen, NPR

“HOOKS YOU FROM THE FIRST MOMENTS AND GLIDES EFFORTLESSLY TOWARD AN EMOTIONALLY IMPACTING AND ENIGMATIC CONCLUSION.”
Tony Hinds, The Film Stage

“COLLIN PIECES A LONG-STANDING MYSTERY TOGETHER LIKE A VERY MOODY JAZZ DETECTIVE STORY”
Jason Solomons, jasonsolomons.com

“ENTRANCING… IMBUED WITH SUSPENCE, EVEN IF THE OUTCOME IS KNOWN FROM THE OUTSET”
Sarah Ward, Screendaily

“A DEXTEROUS WORK OF FUSION: IT’S JAZZ HISTORY MEETS TRUE CRIME”
José Teodoro, Cinema Scope

“THE ELEGANT MELANCHOLY OF THE FILM’S VISUALS, IN COMPLETE SYMPATHY WITH THE MOST WISTFUL CUTS OF ITS SUBJECT’S DISCOGRAPHY… BURNISHES BOTH THE INFORMATION WE HAVE AND THE GAPS IN IT.”
Guy Lodge, Variety

★★★★★ “THE GREATEST JAZZ DOCUMENTARY SINCE LET’S GET LOST…”
Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian (5/5 stars)