“I’ve been to a lot of interesting places, but I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting Poona Flat.” - Miles Davis as Billy Cross

For the young John Anderson life in western Australia was never the same after jazz trumpeter Billy Cross (played by legendary trumpeter Miles Davis) and his band suddenly landed their plane in Poona Flat and started a performance, kicking up more than a dust storm for the crowd gathered around their plane.  For the young Mr. Anderson, right then, jazz became a lifelong passion.

"For jazz fans, Dingo is a treat."


You could say that he’s been bitten with the music bug.  It’s right there on his face: the passion and the poetry communicated through Cross’ elegant playing as they perform an impromptu concert right there on the tarmac for the citizens of Poona Flat.  It will be a lifetime of struggles as he works his way out of the outback to meet his idol, but Anderson is up for the challenge.

From the very beginning - in which we see an adult John (Collin Friels) playing his trumpet across the open outback floor - Dingo, directed by Rolf de Heer, commands our attention as a coming of age narrative.  There is also no denying the beauty of the film either.  Originally filmed in 1991, this critically acclaimed film is finally being released theatrically here in the United States and will have a long-awaited DVD and Digital premiere this April.  That's right, it is something of a cult flick due to its distribution falling through some 30 years ago.

Starring Jazz legend Miles Davis, in his final film, and acclaimed actor Colin Friels (Malcolm, Dark City), Dingo was originally nominated for 7 AFI Awards upon its Australian release in 1992 and there’s little wonder why.  This is an elegant film that crosses boundaries and becomes something that all fans of music genres can appreciate as one man’s passion takes him from the outback of Australia to the jazz clubs in Paris.

And it is all because of his idol, jazz trumpeter Billy Cross (Davis in his final film appearance).  That’s how much of an impact he has during the performance where they exchange glances, mutual respect, and an encouraging sentence or two which guides John through his adulthood.  He has to play the trumpet just like his idol.  There can be no other life for him.Dingo

Written by Marc Rosenberg and directed by Rolf de Heer with music composed by Miles Davis and Michel Legrand, Dingo is definitely of interest for Davis fans as it showcases his work and his playing and gives audiences a good look at his persona.  Is he acting?  Not really.  He is who he is and it shows - especially with each line of dialogue.  The rasp.  That tone.  It’s all there, not hidden from the camera.

So when John, as a boy, becomes hypnotized by Cross’s playing, he is not soon awoken from his trance and spends a lifetime emulating the sound and the experience for others.

For jazz fans, Dingo is a treat.  The film, for movie enthusiasts, has developed a cult following, desired for Davis’ part in the movie.  It has also been unfairly criticized for being far too romantic in its handling of a man who meets his childhood idol.  For me, this film is a fun journey into the wonder and influence of jazz and its lasting effect upon people everywhere.  It is both childlike and special, full of many moments that music fans will certainly relate to as John, as a man, travels far and wide to meet up with Billy Cross again.

Ahead of the DVD and Digital release on April 12, Dingo will screen at arthouses across the country beginning March 25 courtesy of Dark Star Pictures.

4/5 stars


Film Details


MPAA Rating: PG.
109 mins
: Rolf de Heer
Marc Rosenberg
Colin Friels; Miles Davis; Helen Buday
: Drama | Music
Truth is magic...It makes dreams come true.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
Dark Star Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 25, 2022 (limited theatrical); DVD/Digital : April 12
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April 12, 2022.
Synopsis: John Anderson has a passion for jazz. One that will take him from his home in the outback of Australia to the jazz clubs of Paris, to meet his idol, jazz trumpeter Billy Cross (played by Miles Davis in his final film appearance).