John Coltrane Hologram in Vanilla Sky

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This scene, from the 2001 movie Vanilla Sky, features a hologram of Coltrane playing "My Favorite Things." As you can see, this scene marks the beginning of the budding love interest between Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz's characters. Kirn Gabbard writes of "the Hollywood film industry's habit of keeping black faces off the screen while making abundant use of the romantic potential in their voices" in multiple places, including the Black Magic: White Hollywood and African Americn Culture, and Watching Jazz: Encounters with Jazz Performance on Screen (Heile, Elsdon, and Doctor, 2016, p. 198). This particular scene provides in interesting twist to that theory. 

 Fans of Harry Potter and The Big Bang Theory may notice Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew) and Johnny Galecki (Leonard Hofstadter) make appearences here as well. More interesting, however, is what Johnny Galecki's character say to Tom Crusie:

The living stereo will be online in moments with the great John Coltrane. They would love an article on it. And if you like it, it’s an amazing, amazing prototype.

I also find it fascinating that this scene occurred eleven years before the Tupac hologram at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (YouTube link)  that seemed to take the media by storm.

 Coltrane made an "appearance" in another Tom Cruise film, Jerry Maguire. Click here to see the entry on Jerry Maguire.

Vanilla Sky on Amazon:


In Heile, B., In Elsdon, P., & In Doctor, J. R. (2016). Watching jazz: Encounters with jazz performance on screen.

Gabbard, K. (2004). Black magic: White Hollywood and African American culture. New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press.


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