Miles Ahead

Synopsis: An exploration of the life and music of Miles Davis.
Director(s): Don Cheadle
  2 wins & 12 nominations.
100 min


Let's try it.

- Ready for sound?

- Yeah. Always.

There you go.

- Give me that blue tape.

- You know the fucking mystery.

All right.

That's what it's about.

- Yeah? Well, that's... That's... That's...

- Hey.

That's right.

I need some tea. Something for my throat.

My throat sounds scratchy.

Is that chair going to be

all right for your hip?

- Yeah.

- Okay. We getting close here?

- Almost.

- All right.

Speed the spool up.

Videotape forward there.

Okay, wait, wait. This one right here.

Stop it. Stop it right there.

- Agharta?

- That's it.

Let me see.

Osaka, Japan. 1975.

- Funky.

- Yeah.

Well... Well, cut the sound down.

So, Miles, I know it's always

go forward, move ahead.

And I don't want to just go down

that whole litany of things.

The drugs, women, your muse.

But if we can go back a bit, for context,

and explore

your earlier stuff, modal jazz,

- and its influence...

- I don't like that word, "jazz."

Don't... Don't call it "jazz," man.

- That's some made-up word.

- All right.

Trying to box somebody in.

Don't call my music "jazz."

All right.

- It's social music.

- Okay.

Social music. Perfect.

Well, what made you stop

in the first place?

I didn't have...

I didn't have nothing to say.

I just didn't have nothing to say.

Well, what were you doing all that time?

A lot of shit,

it had nothing to do with music.

Miles Davis, five years,

no playing at all. I mean, it's...

How did you find your way back to it?

You know. A lot of shit.

A lot of shit goes through your mind

when you're quiet, you know.

You have a lot of thoughts.

And they can sometimes be fighting

each other. You know, like a war.

And I'm a Gemini, so I'm...

I'm two people anyway, you know?

I was born modal. This and that.

Then someday you sit there

and something click.

And that's it. You start playing.

That's it.

Are you getting...

Are you getting some of this?

Guys, for f*ck's sake, are we ready yet?

I've been ready.

Then why did nobody let me know,

for Christ's sake, if you're ready?

All right. I'm ready.

In three, two...

In 1975, one of the most

prolific voices in music

went silent for five years,

- leaving the world to...

- Man, you ain't no Walter Cronkite.

If you're going to tell a story,

come with some attitude, man.

Don't, you know...

Don't be all corny with this shit.

All right, well, you are the artist, Miles.

How would you say it?

Shit, that fucking tape. F*ck's sake!

Lose this motherfucker!

Go, go, go, go, go!

Make a right! Go right!

Shit! Is that him?

Shit! Turn! Turn!

Shit, it stalled! Get out! Go, go, go!

Miles, get out!

Jesus Christ, go!

- My music!

- Don't go back for it! No! No!


At precisely three minutes to 1:00,

Jack Johnson...

Johnson is always the first to enter.

So seriously does he take this ritual...

Mr. Davis, if you could

just open the door for a moment.

While outside, hundreds unable

to buy tickets await the outcome.

Jeffries bears the reputation of being

the strongest man ever to enter the ring.

The f*ck you looking at?


Don't play around with your life, junkie.

I fronted you the coke.

Do you know what that means?

F*ck you, Mack. Get in line.

It's all on film for the world to see.

High overhead, a desert sun scorches...

The temperature is rising

and so are tempers.

The bell rings for round 15.

A vicious uppercut

and three stinging lefts!

Jeffries goes down!

Phil Schaap with you on WKCR-FM New York,

the Miles Davis festival.

That was the seminal So What

from Kind of Blue, 1959.

That's one for the time capsule, folks.

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Steven Baigelman

Steven J. Baigelman is a Canadian screenwriter, producer, and film director. He has written the screenplays for the crime dramedy Feeling Minnesota (1996), the crime thriller Brother's Keeper (2002), the biographical drama Get on Up (2014), and the biographical drama Miles Ahead (2015). Baigelman also created the ABC anthology television series Wicked City (2015), on which he also serves as an executive producer. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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