In 1983, iconoclastic saxophonist Ornette Coleman returned to his native Fort Worth to perform his symphonic work “Skies of America” and to be feted by the city. Filmmaker Shirley Clarke uses that event as a leaping-off point to explore Coleman’s career to that point, traipsing through biography, concert footage and interviews with the unpredictable weave of Coleman’s own harmolodic lines. Clarke’s re-enactments of Coleman’s impoverished childhood demonstrate the roots of the down-home blues that underlie even his most avant-garde flights, while footage of musicians from Jajouka or a reading by William Burroughs suggest some of the inspirations behind his forward leaps. Arriving at the midpoint of a still-flourishing career, Made in America remains the most enlightening investigation into Coleman’s often-oblique thought processes. I-House will screen a newly restored print on Friday night, followed by The Connection, Clarke’s classic 1962 portrait of drug-addicted jazz musicians, on Saturday.
Fri., Oct. 5, 7 p.m., $7-$9, International House, 3701 Chestnut St., 215-387-5125, ihousephilly.org.