DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

 

I remember stealing my father’s copy of Kind of Blue to take with me to college. I spent hours in my dorm room, just transported by “Flamenco Sketches.” I cannot express how that track just transported me. Ever since those hazy college days I’ve had a fascination with Miles. He was to me a singular force of nature; the very embodiment of cool.  

 

At times his persona eclipsed his music. He was known as a ladies man and abusive womanizer. An intellectual and a junkie. A good friend and a bad father. Glamorous, reclusive, and vain.

 

He was larger than life. A legend. But not altogether real.

 

The story of Miles Davis has often been told as the story of a drug-addled genius. You rarely see a portrait of a man that worked hard at honing his craft, a man who deeply studied and understood classical music.  An elegant man who could render ballads with such tenderness, yet hold rage in his heart from the racism he faced throughout his life. He could be extremely generous, yet rescind that generosity on a whim. He could be shamelessly romantic with the women in his life, then unspeakably cruel.

 

Miles was a man apart – in life, in love, in music -- and there has never been a major documentary about this man who never looked back, rarely apologized, and changed everything we thought we knew about jazz, about music -- several times in his career. Miles was ever-evolving, and it was up to the rest of the world to catch up.  In unpacking the mythology that surrounds him – using his own words -- I think we’ll be presenting the definitive, nuanced account of Miles Davis, the man behind the legend.

 

Stanley Nelson