12-10-2017  4:12 pm      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

Q&A with Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams

A conversation on diversity and the tech industry ...

City Announces Laura John as Tribal Liason

Laura John brings an extensive background in tribal advocacy and community engagement to the city of Portland ...

Humboldt Sewer Repair Project Update: Dec. 4

Environmental Services continues to repair more than 3 miles of public sewer pipes ...

'Santaland' on Display at Oregon Historical Society

New exhibit features Santa’s throne, Rudolph, and elves from original Meier and Frank’s Santaland ...

GFO Hosts Personal Papers & Archiving Talk

First Mondays and free GenTalks at the GFO research library ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Payday Lenders Continue Attack on Consumer Protections

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes that two bills that favor predatory lenders has received bipartisan...

Hundreds Rallied for Meek Mill, but What About the Rest?

Lynette Monroe, a guest columnist for the NNPA Newswire, talks about Meek Mill, the shady judge that locked him up and mass...

Top 10 Holiday Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

Dr. Jasmine Streeter explains why pampering pets with holiday treats can be dangerous (and pricey) ...

Why We Need More Black Men in Early Childhood Education

Royston Maxwell Lyttle discusses the importance of Black male teachers in early childhood education for the NNPA ESSA Media Campaign ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Still from the movie "Miles Ahead"
By Kam Williams | The Skanner News

It's no secret that Don Cheadle wanted to make a movie about Miles Davis (1926-1991) for over a decade. Well, the wait is finally over for jazz fans eager to see the warts-and-all biopic chronicling some of the highs and lows of the legendary trumpeter's checkered career.

Cheadle not only produced, directed, and co-wrote his labor of love, but handles the title character in a haunting performance where he manages to channel the spirit of Miles oh so convincingly, from the gravelly voice to the mercurial temperament.

But while the impersonation might be spot on, the surreal screenplay leaves a lot to be desired. The script eschews a conventional, chronological approach to storytelling in favor of a free form structure featuring a series of vignettes focusing less on the man's music than his messy private life.

The picture's point of departure is 1975, when we find Miles in the midst of a self-imposed, five-year break from the music business. He spends his days barricaded in his New York apartment consuming copious amounts of drugs to mask the pain caused by a chronic hip condition.

The plot thickens with the intrusion into this fortress of solitude of a pushy Rolling Stone reporter (Ewan McGregor) in search of a scoop about a rumored comeback. Dave Braden proceeds to circumvent a very skeptical Davis' disdain for journalists by agreeing to serve as his chauffeur and to procure cocaine on his behalf. Unfortunately, Dave also has a hidden agenda, namely, gaining possession of the master tape of Miles' next album, if it exists.

Meanwhile, the icon is conveniently given to reminiscing about his past, which allows for intermittent flashbacks, most about his tempestuous relationship with his first wife, Frances (Emayatzy Corinealdi). Too bad Miles' impressive body of work is given short shrift. except for the handful of classics on the soundtrack.

An improvisational cinematic portrait of a jazz giant whose prodigious cultural contributions play second fiddle to a plethora of his personal failings.


Very Good ★★★
Rated R for drug use, nudity, sexuality, brief violence and pervasive profanity
Running time: 100 minutes
Studio: Crescendo Productions
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

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