About the film

Using words from Miles Davis’ 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. Michigan premiere.


7 p.m. Thurs., April 11
Detroit Film Theatre
at the DIA

Film credits

Year: 2019
Run time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
Director: Stanley Nelson
Editor: Lewis Erskine
Editors: Natasha Mottola, Yusuf Kapadia
Producers: Nicole London, Stanley Nelson