“Cicero”: a double portrait of Roger Cicero and his father | NDR.de – Culture – Film

Status: 03/24/2022 12:28 PM

Parents who are fond of music often have children who love music. In the documentary Cicero – Two Lives, One Stage, director Kay Weisel connects the stories of the life of a father and son – two musical geniuses.

by Walli Mueller

“I’d love to say goodbye, sing one last song with you,” Roger Cicero sings to his late father. Tears flow at the latest with the unspeakably sad farewell song. Someone was affected by this film and the fate of these two musicians from the beginning, because the end is very certain.

On March 24, 2016, Roger Cicero passed away, at just 45 years old, at the height of his career as a pop and swing star. Especially a reserved guy who gave everything on stage, right from the start at “Angie’s Nightclub” in Reeperbahn in Hamburg. Bandmates don’t remember him as a stage pig. Young Roger Cicero has no ambition to become a star.

Preview: Introduction: “Cicero – Two Lives, One Phase” (1 minute)

My fellow musicians have great respect for Roger and Eugene Cicero

Whatever director Kay Weisel meets from the music scene, and has plenty of celebrities in front of the camera, from Johannes Ording to Til Brunner, everyone is full of respect. Also for the father, Eugene Cicero, who at the same time tells the story of his life. He comes from Romania and uses a concert tour to escape to the West. Here he became famous and even rich as a jazz pianist. But he’s also involved in any commercial gimmicks, playing in the Bull Con TV Orchestra. Charlie Antolini, drummer for Cicero’s jazz trio, still shakes his head about it today. “He shouldn’t have done all that.” Antolini says. “He should simply have continued his wonderful way of expressing himself as a jazz and classical pianist, and he should not sing in a ‘bloody thumb’ restaurant, but in concert halls!”

Director Kai Wessel tells the story in a jazzy freestyle setting

Eugene Cicero in Hollywood in the documentary

Eugene Cicero, coming from Romania, used a concert tour to escape to the West.

It is part of the tragedy of Eugene Cicero’s life that he cannot stand the contradiction between art and commerce, leaves his family early and becomes an alcoholic. Son Roger suffers from his separation from his father, with whom music closely links him. Great talent, deep pain – this is a prevalent idea that runs through the lives of musicians. Director Wessel intentionally tells her in a jazzy freestyle setting, sometimes with interview sequences, sometimes with collages and of course with several theatrical scenes! An early archive recording shows Eugene Cicero accompanies his rich son at the piano. Roger is still a teenager with shoulder-length hair but already an unmistakable voice.

Gorgeous double portrait of Eugene and Roger Cicero

These valuable shots make the movie an emotional experience. What’s also exciting is what ultimately led to the commercial breakthrough of Roger Cicero. How a clever music director duo is strategically planning their market position as German swing singers. The right fit, tailored suit and hat are just as part of the brand’s DNA as cheeky German texts are.

It is a pleasure to see these photos of the ceremony and the dedication of this man. What a tragedy he is no longer here! But what a luck that he and his father Eugene were there! Both can be felt in this wonderful double image.

additional information

Roger Cicero in the documentary

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Cicero – two lives, one stage

production year:
Production country:
additional information:
Roger Cicero, Eugene Cicero, Till Brunner, Charlie Antolini, Florin Mildau, Olita Knaus, Lutz Kraczynski, Johannes Oerding, Ake Van Roen, Paul Kohn, Giggs Wiggam, Joja Wendt and many more
Kai Wessel | Co-Director: Tina Freitag
112 minutes
from 0 years old
Play release:
From March 24

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Culture NDR | New movies | 03/24/2022 | 7:55 am

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