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Milford Graves Full Mantis

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

USA

2018

1h 32m

Director Neil Young

Starring Milford Graves

Genre Documentary

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Weaving blistering performance footage from Europe, Japan, and the U.S. with a sublimely restrained, intimate glimpse into a world-renowned jazz percussionist’s singular voice and complex cosmology.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

70

Film Threat by

Bobbing and weaving between the metaphysical and physical, the past and the present, the film is a challenging narrative that rewards the patient viewer with insight into the creative, improvisational process of its visionary protagonist who is regarded as one of the fathers of form.
80

The Guardian by Cath Clarke

This delightfully entertaining and idiosyncratic music documentary ought to banish the stereotype of drummers as talentless thickos. It’s also one of those films you can happily watch without having a jot of prior interest in its subject.
50

Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

Jake Meginsky's documentary is insular, precious, and too pleased with its unwillingness to reach out to the unconverted.
50

Los Angeles Times by Gary Goldstein

Despite its singular star and bursts of audio-visual vibrancy, the film may prove more ponderous and patience-testing than enlightening or involving for all but the most intrepid viewers.
100

The New York Times by Glenn Kenny

You can get a lot of facts about Mr. Graves and his discography on the internet (and I recommend you do). This movie gives you, well, the man’s heart, and it’s a beautiful one.
80

The Hollywood Reporter by John DeFore

Full Mantis gives fans the kind of intimate access more conventional docs often don't manage. Even for viewers who've never heard of the septuagenarian, it's an oddball delight.
90

Village Voice by Jordan Hoffman

Form and content collide in inspiring ways in this documentary about Milford Graves — avant-garde jazz percussionist, educator, gardener, martial artist, and cardiovascular researcher. Milford Graves Full Mantis is a jazz movie in every sense of the word.