Sunday, October 11, 2015

Miles Ahead (2015) New York Film Festival 2015

DOn Cheadle talks MILES AHEAD at the New York Film Festival
Don Cheadle's MILES AHEAD is a cinematic jazz film. Its a portrait of Miles Davis told as if it was a Miles Davis composition. It is a film that like a great piece of music requires multiple viewings. It is one of the most complex films of the New York Film Festival and probably one of it's best films.

Less straight biography than an exploration of the psyche of the great jazz musician, MILES AHEAD mixes some fictions with some rearrangements to make us get sense of the man. The film is essentially a piece of music that begins when Don Cheadle's Miles Davis is asked  to put his story into his own words. He picks up his trumpet and begins to blow which zips us into the story of part of his life. Cheadle described it as a film about Miles Davis that Miles Davis would have wanted to star in. Periods of time collide, music plays all over the place and reality, fiction and memory merge. It all plays out as a weird mix of genres, comedy,blaxploitation film, melodrama, romance, bio that is constantly shifts gears and never feels wrong. Then as if to remind us that the  whole thing was jazz piece it ends when Davis stops playing.

Its a unique film that could rightly be called a masterpiece.

Cheadle not only has created a technical marvel of a film (I can't talk about the details I was too busy getting lost in the film to take notes) but he also puts in an Oscar worthy performance as Davis. Cheadle doesn't always look like Davis but Davis is always on screen.  Cheadle's performance is at times a scary ghost of the man himself. In some shots, particularly when we see a young Davis Cheadle isn't so much Cheadle but  rather a Cheadle inhabited by the soul of  Miles Davis. Its a scary good thing to see and hopefully will be remembered come Awards season.

I really like this film a great deal. I love that a film like this is coming from an American filmmaker. Its so rare that a film of this complexity would come from a a major star. Its hopeful turn of events.

I highly recommend this film when it hits theaters down the road.

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