Film Info: It Don't Mean a Thing, If It Ain't Got That Swing

It Don't Mean a Thing, If It Ain't Got That Swing

It Don't Mean a Thing, If It Ain't Got That Swing

It Don't Mean a Thing, If It Ain't Got That Swing, named after the legendary Duke Ellington song from the 30s, shows what "swing" really meant in the post-war years.
When songs like Meine gute alte Tante or Put'n on the Ritz are played, Alfred Erblich, an active dandy at the Hot Club Hanover, knows that music has more to do with the heart than with the mind. Together with Heinz Both, the "Mr. Swing" of the British occupied zone, Alfred Erblich, another still active swing-veteran, experienced how fingers were snapped and feet flew in Hanover, Berlin and Paris to old role-models like Louis Armstrong. Swing was like a language that everyone understood; it brought people together and was part of a lifestyle between ruins and a new beginning. Swing popularized jazz, the music of the liberators, and post-war Germany experienced the liberation from dictators and chamber music with a new form of music that caused goose-bumps then just as much as it does today.


Niels Bolbrinker was born in 1951 in Hamburg. He studied Photography in Hamburg and graduated with a degree in Visual Communication. He began working as a cameraman in documentary films with the Bauhaus-student and cultural film director Alfred Ehrhardt and continued his work in various TV productions. In 1978, he was one of the founding members of the Wendlaendischen Filmkooperative. He won the German Film Award for cinematography and editing of the short film Tue recht und scheue niemand (1977) and the Film Critics' Award for Zwischenzeit (1986). He continued work in the fields of camera, editing and writing for films, including Schuss Gegenschuss (1989/1990), Das Ende des blauen Montag (1992), Das industrielle Gartenreich (1994/1995), Original Wolfen. Aus der Geschichte einer Filmfabrik (1995), Der Heringsexpress (1996/97), and Bauhaus - ein Mythos der Moderne (1997/1998). He had his directorial debut with It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got that Swing (1999-2001).

Kerstin Stutterheim is active as a writer, editor and director. Her films include: Die Waescherei (1993), Laufen lernen (1993), and in co-direction with Niels Bolbrinker Politische Landschaft (1995), ORiginal WOlfen (1995), Mythos, Macht und Moerder (1997), bauhaus mythos der moderne (1998), It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing (1999), Die Thuranos. Leben auf dem Drahtseil (2003), and Africa Festival (2004).
Genre Music
Category Documentary
Year of Production 1999
Directors Niels Bolbrinker, Kerstin Stutterheim
Screenplay Niels Bolbrinker, Claus Ivar Bolbrinker
Cinematography Niels Bolbrinker
Kerstin Stutterheim
Cast Heinz Both, Gerhard Evertz, Kurt Wiegemann, Horst Wagner, Robin Merill, Hubertus Krohne, Gerhard Lehner, Alfred Erblich, Stefan Wahrmut, Wilhelm Baumeister, Marko Paysan, Claude Luter, Stefan Hayes, Sebastian Wittstock, Mowgli Jospin, Konstantin Krohne
Producers Michael Sombetzki, Klaus Armbruster
Production Company Trigon Film/Hamburg, in co-production with Interartes Mediengestaltung Filmproduktion/Essen
Length 90 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 English/French/German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby
With backing from Filmfoerderung NDR Niedersachsen, Filmbuero NW

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