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  • Miles Davis, wearing a white button-down shirt and sunglasses inside.
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MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL

MUST END THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

12:20   2:35   7:15   9:40

PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY STANLEY NELSON

Miles Davis: horn player, bandleader, innovator. Elegant, intellectual, vain. Callous, conflicted, controversial. Magnificent, mercurial. Genius. The very embodiment of cool. The man with a sound so beautiful it could break your heart.

The central theme of Miles Davis's life was his restless determination to break boundaries and live life on his own terms. It made him a star. For the people who loved him most, it also made him incredibly difficult to live with. Again and again, in music and in life, Miles broke with convention—and when he thought his work came to represent a new convention, he changed it again. Miles's bold disregard for tradition, his clarity of vision, his relentless drive, and constant thirst for new experiences made him an inspiring collaborator to fellow musicians and a cultural icon to generations of listeners. It made him an innovator in music—from bebop to “cool jazz,” modern quintets, orchestral music, jazz fusion, rock ’n’ roll, and even hip-hop.

Featuring never-before-seen archival footage, studio outtakes, and rare photos, MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL tells the story of a truly singular talent and unpacks the man behind the horn.

Presented with support from the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Fund

USA    2019    115 MINS.    ABRAMORAMA

Reviews

“A tantalizing portrait: rich, probing, mournful, romantic, triumphant, tragic, exhilarating, and blisteringly honest… Miles, like Picasso or Dylan, had a mystique rooted not just in his genius but in his cult of personality… any documentary about Miles Davis that really wants to take him all in has to grapple with each of those dimensions — the lyrical jazz genius, the midnight pop star, the drugs and domestic violence, the stubborn inner light — and demonstrate how, exactly, they fit together. MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL does just that… If you’re a Miles Davis fanatic from way back and think you already know everything about him, the movie, with its sharply edited interviews and stunning archival reach, fills in nuances of the man that feel fresh and new.”
– Owen Gleiberman, Variety