Preview | Director Stanley Nelson Talks About Miles Davis
Stanley Nelson, director of Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, talks about why he chose to make a film about the iconic jazz musician. He also discusses how this film is more than just a film about a jazz musician and really a film about the United States in the second half of the 20th century as told through music.
- Miles was one of the most influential musicians
in the 20th century for so many different reasons.
You can't get away from Miles's music.
It's just, it's just there.
One of the things that drove us on the film was
how did such, kind of this rough person make some
of the most beautiful music ever?
What we really felt like,
how do you show Miles's music?
How do you show music?
We came up with the idea of using
"It Never Entered My Mind,"
which is one of the most beautiful songs
that Miles plays, and one of my favorites,
and then I think we just started experimenting,
and we just kind of stuck some photos up there,
and really quickly we were like, "This is gonna work."
We really wanted to show you just the beauty
in that one sequence, and it's probably
my favorite piece that I've ever cut in my life.
There's so many windows into Miles's music.
There the cool jazz of The Birth of the Cool,
that Miles kind of invents the idea of cool jazz.
There the Kind of Blue, and the modal music,
and this improvisation that knows no equal.
There's Bitches Brew, which is Miles's version
of a rock album, and I think that the thing
to understand is it became more than just a film
about a jazz musician.
It's a film about the second half of the 20th century
in the United States told through music.
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