HOT DOCS 2019-MILES DAVIS:THE BIRTH OF COOL@TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX-Sat.,May 4th,2019
The Birth of Cool is a superbly crafted documentary about the life of jazz great/pioneer Miles Davis and is an example of what great filmmaking can offer. Combine this with a subject that has the artistic depth, drive, and mystique, as Miles Davis had, and you readily become enthralled in his life’s story.
This is a film about a musician whose work has spanned decades. Groundbreaking music of such influence, still felt today, would generally be enough, but this Documentary takes us even deeper into Miles’ struggles. ‘The Birth of Cool’ puts the pieces of his life together in such a way that it draws upon raw/profound emotions from empathy to disbelief. Race comes up, absolutely, and when it does, you can see the toll that this uniquely American style of racism has had on his genius, and you will understand the man, the artist much better. Like many of his contemporaries, Miles tried to fight his demons with self-destructive methods. This film does not shy away from the dark side of this man and as such is told in a way that you leaves the viewer with a better understanding of the Miles Davis’ fight. Is there a great artist who does not suffer from observing the human condition? Who knows? The Birth of Cool, however, offers us poignant insight into its effects on one such man and the fantastic music that came from his suffering/his having endured it.