The important thing about this short doc is its use of jazz. Jazz and modernism were born around the same time. Jazz, true, has its own modern moment between 1947 and 1968—a moment the closes the era of big bands and opens to free jazz and electric jazz—but as a whole the form was modern in mood, mode, and movement. This point (the link between jazz and modernism) is beautifully presented in Jazz Modernism: From Ellington and Armstrong to Matisse and Joyce, a book by one of the leading Nabokovian scholars of the 20th century Alfred Appel Jr.


And so it is fitting to score a short documentary on Le Corbusier's Cité Radieuse with jazz—though the end of "Radiant City" abandons jazz for something quirky and wholly irrelevant to modernism. When thinking about this period of architecture, always try to keep in mind what Le Corbusier said when in 1945 he first saw New York City from a descending commercial liner: “It is hot—jazz in stone!”