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Australia 1991
Directed by
Rolf de Heer
109 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars


There is something intriguing about any film that pairs Miles Davis with a dingo and although the curiosity value stands for something this film has sufficient merit despite its largely conventional nature to be worth watching.

How de Heer managed to get Miles Davis to play a reclusive former trumpet great is anyone's guess, and though he may not be a great actor, his charisma is enough to provide a effective anchor point to this rather simplistic follow-your-dream story. On the other hand Colin Friels brings a great deal of charm to his role as the man with a dream, to play trumpet like Davis (here called Billy Cross).

As written by Marc Rosenberg and directed by de Heer, the film, despite its straightforward narrative, borders on the magic realism style with Davis effectively dropping out of the sky in outback WA in 1969 (looking all the world as if it were 1989) and beginning the journey that will take young John Anderson (Friels) to Paris to play by his side some twenty (?) years later.

Certainly what is important here is not the story but rather the spirit of the piece and in this respect Dingo is quite effective, Rosenberg's script enriching the familiar narrative template with marital and personal issues, not to mention a canny old dingo. The music, by Davis and Michel Legrand, is very good and Friels does some convincing mugging on trumpet.

DVD Extras: A new 5.1 soundtrack and an image gallery .

Available from: Umbrella Entertainment




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