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Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (12A*)

Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2019

Miles Davis playing trumpet in the studio

Miles Davis’ life and music are given a fascinating re-telling in this new documentary from director Stanley Nelson (The Black Panthers – Vanguard of the Revolution).

Nelson’s account uses newly-released archival footage, studio outtakes and rare photos in combination with interviews with the people who knew Davis best – friends, family and collaborators, among them musicians Quincy Jones and Carlos Santana, legendary jazz promoter George Wein, and past love Juliette Gréco.

From these insights, Nelson builds a complex, multi-faceted portrait of Davis the musician – his fierce creativity and musical development – and the man – his past loves, personal relationships and addictions. Overlaying it all are Davis’ own words, from his 1989 autobiography, read by Carl Lumbly.

Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year to great acclaim, this film will please Miles Davis fanatics and new fans alike.

US/UK 2019 Dir Stanley Nelson 115 min Digital Presentation

Barbican Cinema 2

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