babble / biopic / business

The Miles Davis Movie: Can Obama presidency help the success of a movie about Miles Davis?

davis-office During the just concluded presidential campaign there was a moment when we learned what kind of music the candidates preferred. It was no surprise that when Barack Obama revealed his iPod playlist there was much (fun) debate and scrutiny.

Of course his music assemblage was greeted with cheers because, well, because his musical taste is just so darn cool and eclectic and perfect for a man tasked with saving the planet. But I digress.

Miles Davis was included in Obama’s compilation, as were other jazz legends like John Coltrane and Charlie Parker. Obama also likes Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Jay-Z and Stevie Wonder, who he said was his ultimate musical hero during the 70s.

Regardless of your thoughts about Obama the politician, at least he’s a fan of Miles Davis. Whew!

It should be noted that on John McCain’s iPod he has the likes of the Beach Boys, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra and Neil Diamond – not a bad selection.

But no matter if it’s Obama as president or George Washington returned from the grave it’s not going to help move the Miles Davis biopic from development to screen any quicker. We need an act of God!

But does Obama in office, on a purely cultural level, somehow benefit a Miles Davis biopic if and when it debuts?

The word ‘cool’ has been heard a lot in reference to Obama’s style and behavior (that’s good or bad depending on how you view the guy), but there’s going to be numerous articles written about Obama and the cultural change presently underway in Washington.

Can we expect “Kind of Blue” played in the Oval Office?

“He’s a cool cat,” said Christopher Buckley, the political humorist in a NY Times story, “and I think he’s going to bring cool catness back, if it ever existed at the White House.”

Again, ‘cool.’ And when I think of cool Miles Davis comes to mind – always.

Is the Miles Davis biopic a film Obama can get behind? Surely he can speak about the jazz legend’s influence musically and socially. Maybe he even hops aboard Air Force One and joins all his new Hollywood best friends for the premiere.

But if Obama digs the Miles Davis movie, hey, ticket sales may get a boost. Maybe he gives the big endorsement and his broad constituency rushes to the theatres, or even to iTunes to download some tracks off “Porgy and Bess” or “Miles Ahead.”

(I was about to write ‘record store’ instead of iTunes, but I realized they don’t exist anymore.)

This is not a political Blog so I won’t delve into any discourse about Obama as president and whatnot, but while it remains a mystery how an Obama presidency will pan out, if there happens to be a cultural upshot that benefits the Miles Davis movie, well, that would be something to cheer about.

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2 thoughts on “The Miles Davis Movie: Can Obama presidency help the success of a movie about Miles Davis?

  1. Glad you’re still keeping the blog going, Mr. Hyatt!

    I was probably going to vote for him anyway, but when I read in Rolling Stone this summer that President Obama was a big jazz fan, I went all in. A sharp and cool guy with musical tastes to match.

    Check out this passage from a 2004 New Yorker article about Obama:

    “You can’t always come up with the optimal solution, but you can usually come up with a better solution,” [Obama] said over lunch one afternoon. “A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence.” He nodded. Miles Davis’s “Kind of Blue” was playing in the background. “Or a good piece of music,” he said. “Everybody can recognize it. They say, ‘Huh. It works. It makes sense.’ That doesn’t happen too often, of course, but it happens.”

    Full article: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2004/05/31/040531fa_fact1?currentPage=1

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