Mingus Erectus



A pen scratches a notebook, rotary presses print a book, a double bass against the light. This is the film where words becomes music…

By following the narrators and the musicians recording the album in the studio, under the direction of Noël Balen and Etienne Gauthier, a strange magic is working. Is it the authenticity of the characters, the fact that music is photogenic ? Words tell about Mingus and are also an invitation to dream, like interludes where emotions guide us. Because the camera captures the emotion felt by the characters and transmits it to us. Song after song, poem after poem, Charles appears and disappears, as a ghost that would come visit us. The double bass is his totem, Noel and his joyful band, the messengers. Then appear the weaknesses and torments of Mingus, his joys and what he loved, his faith in music and his brothers in arms. And in the shadow of the film, he still enlightens us.

Intimate portrait, Mingus Erectus is a film on the process of creating music, where we simultaneously discover the work of an artist and how it was conceived.


Mingus Erectus is poem collection written by Noel Balen, a declaration of love in 30 texts and 4 defintions, to Charles « Chazz » Mingus. In the jazz poetry tradition, he decides to adapt 14 of the texts as songs and to make a record that would accompany the collection. Then, he calls upon Etienne Gauthier and they invite a galaxy of talents to offer their voice or a solo on the compositions. And they deliver a record of 18 tracks that is released with the book, edited by the Castor Astral Editions.


Irène Jacob, Viktor Lazlo, Annick Tangorra, Jean-Luc Debattice, Michel Jonasz, Kohndo, Mike Laad, David Linx, Passi, Dominique Pinon, Thomas de Pourquery, Arthur Ribo.

Philip Catherine (guitares), Ricky Ford (sax ténor), Steve Potts (sax soprano), Géraldine Laurent (sax alto), Stéphane Belmondo (trompette), David Enhco (trompette), Glenn Ferris (trombone), Michel Portal (clarinette basse), Bojan Z (piano), Thomas Enhco (piano), Jacky Terrasson (fender rhodes), Emmanuel Bex (orgue), Marius Atherton (guitare funky), Danny Kendrick (batterie), Etienne Gauthier (claviers, piano, batterie, programmations), Noel Balen (contrebasse).

Documentary / 75’ / HD / 5.1 / France / 2019

Directed by Amaury Voslion
Written by Amaury Voslion, Noël Balen
Music by Etienne Gauthier, Noël Balen

Producer Perspective Films
Coproduction AM Art Films
With the support of SACEM
In partnerships with: Bolid Records & Lomography
Le Castor Astral & la Galerie 24B

Prix du Public at the Festival à l’Est du Nouveau, France 2019
– International Film Festival Uruguay, 2019
On The Road Special Jury Award & Best Documentary Film about Art at MEDIAWAVE Festival Film and Music, Hungary 2019
– Al Este Film Festival, Peru 2019
– Pärnu Film Festival, Estonia 2019
– Copenhagen Jazz Film Festival 2020
– Festival International du Film sur l’Art Montréal, Canada 2020
– Festival Millenium, Belgium 2020