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Drawing from West African, Haitian and European colonial influences, jazz funerals are a tradition almost entirely exclusive to New Orleans, and as culturally rich and multifaceted as the city itself. The processions generally open with a brass band performing solemn marches and dirges as family and friends accompany the deceased to a burial. Eventually, the band breaks out into more upbeat and swinging numbers, allowing mourners cathartic release in music and dance, and onlookers to form a ‘second line’ and join the festivities. In what director Caitlyn Greene describes as ‘a love letter to New Orleans’, Big Daddy’s Last Dance captures the arc of a jazz funeral, in all its reverent, jubilant glory.
Philosophy of mind
Forget babbling and toddling – mindreading is babies’ most incredible skill
Water, salt and music form a mesmerising visualisation of sound waves
Film and visual culture
A Palme d’Or-winning animation toys with the way our eyes perceive light
How a self-taught autistic artist mines creativity from life’s endless variations
Nature and landscape
An afternoon with hobbyist diamond miners in Arkansas is a thing of rare beauty
What can a Kurosawa classic tell us about reality, knowledge and truth?
Witness the majesty of moths taking flight at 6,000 frames per second
Animals and humans
A bluesy ballad tells the story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in the US
Meaning and the good life
To know or not to know? Lillian weighs the costs of a life-changing genetic test