Brooklyn Jazz Hustler

Noah Wise

Director: Ben Zuckert

Cast: Mat Vairo, Raffaella Meloni, Kevin Kilner, Craig Newman, Kate Middleton, Meg Gibson

Spoiler Alerts Valid for Date of Commercial release

Writer, director and composer Ben Zuckert’s second feature film Noah Wise also premiered at the 40th Durban International Film Festival and basically tells the quirky story of a Brooklyn Jazz Hustler played by Matt Vairo.

Audiences should not expect too much to occur in this film, suffice to say it is more a humorous commentary on one young man’s journey to maturity as he navigates the perils of being broke, independent and trying to hit the big time as a saxophonist.

Noah Wise encounters several setbacks including his quartet taking a break due to a lack of performance gigs, and then Noah find a stable job teaching primary school children how to play musical instruments.

Along the way he meets the brash singer-songer writer Rachel played by Rafaella Meloni who has recently moved to New York from Minneapolis.

Quirky independent American cinema doesn’t get better than Noah Wise as he battles through the journeys of unrequited love, dealing with his parents who keep telling him that he desperately needs to take a real interest in current affairs and revealing to Rachel that he is just another broke young jazz hustler who cannot cook and eats canned Sardines.

Noah Wise is a slow moving film, sprinkled with intelligent dialogue about a young couple’s challenge to achieve their individual dreams even at the detriment of their own shifting relationship.

Perhaps, the narrative structure of Noah Wise could have done with less nuance and more action, but overall, it is a gentle compelling tale about a young couple’s love for music in the Big Apple.

Director Ben Zuckert’s Noah Wise received its international premiere at the 52nd Hof International Film Festival in Germany in 2018 before being screened at the 40th Durban International Film Festival in July 2019.

Noah Wise is recommended for audiences that enjoy American independent cinema where action is overtaken by subtle dialogue and episodic events. Noah Wise gets a film rating of 7 out of 10 as the storyline needed to be injected with some dramatic conflict to propel the narrative further.

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