I hate to sound like I am raining on the creative parade, but what is so darn wrong about a Miles Davis Biopic just ‘being about Miles?’
Don Cheadle recently spoke with Vibe.com about the project:
“Biopics are concerned with cradle to the grave depictions of a subject and character. This movie is much more expressive. And in my opinion, we’re hopefully making a movie that Miles would want to be in as opposed to it just ‘being about Miles.'”
I have no problem whatsoever with a cradle-to-the-grave movie. Is it going to redefine cinema as we know it? Nope. But if we are only to be left with a very entertaining movie about an iconic jazz musician then what is wrong with that?
And why does it need to be a movie that Miles would want to be in? Like as an extra? What does that mean?
But here’s Cheadle quote about the biopic I really like:
“It’s all about his life but its not specific facts, those are irrelevant.”
I’d love to know what ‘specific facts’ about Miles Davis Cheadle considers irrelevant. Sure, we don’t need to know the name of Davis’ dentist, or what flavor ice cream he preferred. I can see how those types of facts might be considered irrelevant to the story. But I get the feeling the biopic is veering closer to “I’m Not There” territory, rather than something like “Ray.”
I love an art-house style biopic like “Basquiat” as much as anyone, but I believe the Miles Davis Biopic needs/demands a larger canvas to tell the story – and tell it right.
In the end, economics might provide the final decision on how the biopic is produced. The project team is in the process of securing financing, which is a hopeful sign, especially when earlier this year Cheadle blamed former President Bush and the global economic meltdown in general for the slow development of the biopic and movies in general.
Thankfully it looks as though Cheadle and the Miles Davis Estate are pushing ahead with the project.
I just pray the end-result is not too artistic for its own good.
Miles Davis was complex, but that doesn’t mean a biopic about his life has to be.