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Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool


Using words from Miles Davis’s autobiography, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool offers an incisive insight into our understanding of the legendary musician.

Newly released archival material, alongside interviews with pre-eminent historians and personal friends like Quincy Jones, illustrate a man of intensity and devotion to his craft. Despite the indignities of America during the time of segregation, nothing was going to stop Davis from realizing his dream: to create a new form of musical expression. Davis worked like a physicist with his collaborators to push musical experimentation and widen the tones and lyricism of jazz—the effects of which are felt to this day.

As the film delves into his past loves, personal relationships, and addictions, a clearer portrait of Davis the man emerges. Davis is fearless and engaging throughout, and his intellectual fervor is only tempered by his insecurities. Director Stanley Nelson’s epic biopic collects the strands of a creative life and weaves them together for us to understand one of the great modern American artists like never before.

YEAR 2019

CATEGORY Documentary Premieres

COUNTRY U.S.A./United Kingdom

RUN TIME 115 min

LANGUAGE English and French

SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles

COMPANY Firelight Films, Inc.

WEBSITE http://www.firelightmedia.tv/

EMAIL nicole.london@firelightmedia.org

PHONE (646) 262-7757


Produced By
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Artist Bio

Stanley Nelson

Stanley Nelson is one of the foremost chroniclers of the African American experience in nonfiction film today, combining compelling narratives with deeply researched historical detail. Nelson, a MacArthur fellow, has received numerous honors, including five Emmys and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts Sciences, as well as honorary degrees from Duke University and Marymount Manhattan College. In 2013, Nelson received the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama.