I APPEAR TO BE A PROBLEM is a music documentary unlike any other. Structurally, the film follows legendary musician Nicholas Payton from two upcoming flagship concerts at The Blue Note through the American debut of his Black American Symphony in Colorado. The film is a meditation into the nature of creativity, tradition, and lineage; the pernicious effects of institutional racism; the unbridled power of Black American excellence, specifically through a reimagining of the constraining concept of ‘genre’. Intimate, cinematic, cerebral, and funny, I APPEAR TO BE A PROBLEM pushes the limits of what is possible in music, film and life.

Stylistically, the film establishes a visual and editing language attuned to the avant-garde nature of the featured music while never straying into territory that will lose the casual listener. There are no talking head interviews, no academic experts, no superfluous celebrity soundbytes. Like Payton’s music, the film eschews the trite while simultaneously remaining grounded in the legacy of our artistic predecessors.

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