Yeah, I know we’re late on this one.
The legendary 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire was preceded by a three-day concert, “Zaire ’74,” featuring some of greatest musical artists of the time: James Brown, B.B. King, the Spinners, Bill Withers, the Fania All-Stars, Miriam Makeba and a variety of Zairian artists, like François “Franco” Luambo Makiadi. The heavyweight bout was immortalized by Leon Gast’s superb 1996 documentary “When We Were Kings,” and now there is a stunning new film co-produced by Mr. Gast and dedicated to the unique and, until now, oddly overlooked musical event.
Editor’s Note: NYers can catch this at Cinema Village this week. It ends Thursday. Showtimes here.
Via Mad Decent
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Baile Funk/Funk Carioca scene that popped off a few years back. Had it been anything like the FOB trailer and not a gang of sweaty hipsters in headbands? I woulda been down like four flat tires.
If you’re in Austin for SXSW, you can catch the U.S. Premiere of the full length with a Q&A with Diplo afterward.
For 20 years, a subculture has emerged under society’s radar. Favela On Blast tells the stories of sex, love, poverty and pride for Rio’s marginalized people. They have their own language, style and heros. It’s a music that’s fast, heavy and violent like the city itself. This film is a flash of a few lives of charismatic people that relate to the funk music and a retelling of the subculture itself.
Funk superstars like Deize, Tigrona, Mr Catra, Duda Do Borell all make an appearance. And traficantes, funkieros, mothers and fathers, workers and students in Rio all have a part to play in funk culture. Its kinda of like the bass that ate rio mixes with Edward Scissorhands.
Michel Gondry x (Tokyo + Steven Seagal’s Daughter) = Oh hell yeah!!!
Synopsis via BBQCHICKENROBOT.
Whether you’re an indie film geek or the casual fan, you have probably heard about Tokyo!; the new 3-part film by directors Bong Joon Ho (The Host), Leos Carax (Bad Blood) and Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine). Tokyo! is about just that, Tokyo! It’s a 3-fold film with 3 directors envisioning 3 different stories that take place in Tokyo.
Michel Gondry’s Interior Design is based on a comic book written by Gabrielle Bell called Cecil and Jordan in New York. The film is about a young couple who is trying their luck at a happy future in the big city. The guy follows his ambitions to make films and sadly the couple starts to peel a part. The girl, played by Steven Seagal’s Japanese daughter Ayako Fujitani, begins to turn into a CHAIR! WHAT?! Heck Yea!
Break… “Steven Seagal’s Japanese daughter” WTF?!! Worth the ticket price alone!!!
French born Leos Carax’s Merde is still quite a mystery to me. It involves a perhaps crazy and demented individual who causes a stir up in Tokyo. Apparently this Merde attacks people and blows things up with grenades. He gets captured and justice has its way on him. The media gets heavily involved and creates kookoo craze and I think you are going to have to watch this one a few times!
In Bong Hoon Jo’s Tokyo! finisher, Shaking Tokyo, Teruyuki Kagawa plays a Hikikomori, yea read all about that. It’s a strange yet intensely interesting topic. Kagawa lkives off of pizza and when a beautiful young pizza delivery girl gets knocked out from an earthquake in his apartment, he begins to fall in love. And if I tell you anymore of the story you will probably punch me and turn me into a Hikikomori too so I’ll leave it up to your imagination for now!
KC Flightt – Planet E
Jungle Brothers – I’ll House you
Twin Hype – For Those Who Like To Groove
Mr. Lee – Get Busy
Bonus #1: “House of Trez” Documentary from 1991 on House/Hip House dancers in the NYC club scene. Via Dance Masterz.
Bonus #2: Footage from the 1992 PBS documentary on Hip House and Freestyle dancing. “Wreckin Shop From Brooklyn”. Also via Dance Masterz.
Just like the movie “Flash Dance” is so important for the history of bboying culure, this clip is extremely important when we talk about hip hop dance culutre. This clip you see here is actually edited sequence of several excerpts from a documentary “Wreckin Shop from Brooklyn”. This documentary was aired in PBS in 1992. Directed by music video director, Dian Martel, this documentary captured the vibe of golden age of hip hop era -early 90s. It features hip hop and house dancers in New York such as Mop Top Crew (Buddha Stretch, Peter Paul, Caleaf, Henry Link, E-Joe) and Misfitss (Rubberband, Marquest, Kito, Peek A Boo, Prancer). As many people consider this era as golden age of hip hop dancing, I recall music videos in this era featured lot of real hip hop dancers unlike today’s music video where you see the mixture of jazz and hip hop. One interesting dancer in this video is Kito from Misfitss. He has his unique rhythm in dancing though it may hard to see that in this video. But I saw him dancing in other video and he was different in a sense that he seems to dance off beat purposefully but still look fresh. The best scene comes at the end of the documentary which is the battle at club. In this clip, it starts around 7:20.
Dancers appeared in this video are
00:41 Marquest, Prancer
01:47 Buddha Stretch, Link, Loose Joint
03:42 E-Joe, Tony?
03:57 Caleaf, Ramier (Caleaf’s Brother)
04:51 Rubber Band, Prancer, Kito, Marquest
7:25 Loose Joint
7:33 Loose joint
7:43 Peek a boo
7:49 Peter paul
8:15 Rubber band
8:27 Peek A Boo
8:36 Peter paul
9:01 Rubber Band
Excerpt from Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987).
I gotta cop the DVD, stat! This review alone (snippet) should make this a must-have.
The plot, where it exists, concerns a drug-running ring on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. Donna and Taryn are assigned to stop the evildoers, who are led by a Goldfinger-like leader who delivers contraband in a radio-controlled helicopter (a scale model, not a real one…guess the drug business isn’t what it used to be on Molokai).
Somehow, the storyline changes from smuggled drugs to smuggled diamonds along the way, but who cares? …
In the interim, we are treated to such unforgettable lines as “Let’s hit the jacuzzi…I do my best thinking there,” “I don’t want to control your life, I only want to suck the polish off your toes,” and “If brains were bird poop you’d have a clean cage.”
We also run afoul of a homicidal skateboarder armed with a pistol and a blow-up doll (why?) and a transvestite who is spying on the spies. Plus any number of nubile women, none of them at all foul.
His name is Derrick Jones, the TR808, but you can call him D-Nice. And while you were pounding away your nonexistent screenplay and working on finishing that second short stack of pancakes, D-Nice has been quietly directing a series of short films that chronicle obscure twists and turns in hip hop’s private quarters that have shaped some of the biggest cuts in it’s history. Also, if weren’t aware, dude is pretty sharp with the clickety flash as well.
Here, D-Nice captures some inside scoop on Joe Ski Love’s hit “Pee Wee Dance”. Stick around for some watershed commentary on “ringtone rappers”.
There’s 6 episodes so far, and by the upload date and times, I’m sure there will be much more to come. You can peep the whole series here.
Bonus: The irony of Masta Ace’s piece is only matched by the films beauty.
Mark your calendars and set your DVRs. MTV is airing the 2007 acclaimed B-Boy documentary Inside the Circle on Sunday at 11am ET/10am CT and 6pm ET/5pm CT.
INSIDE THE CIRCLE tells the story of two strikingly talented
b-boys, Josh and Omar, former best friends who become rivals when they join competing dance crews. Immersed in the b-boy culture of defiant creativity, Omar rises to international renown while Josh tangles with the Texas criminal justice system. Both of them struggle to keep dance at the center of their lives, and the “B-Boy City” competitive events thrown by visionary street dancer Romeo Navarro serve as emotional milestones in their journey to adulthood.
Romeo, who is pictured above and is featured in the documentary, is an Austin legend and institution. He’s the dude behind the famous B-Boy City event in Austin every year that showcases b-boy talent from across the globe. B-Boy City is approaching it’s 16th anniversary. Remarkable.
Back when I was doing radio in Austin, I was always honored when Romeo and his crew would stop by the station. I threw a benefit at a community center in South Austin around that time, and I asked Romeo to help spread the word and to put together a b-boy competition to coincide with the concert I was organizing. Dude brought in so many kids from all over the city, I was really overwhelmed. He’s the main reason the event was a success, and he pretty much did that on his own. I’ve never forgotten that, so I’m geeked to see him and his peoples get MTV exposure. I wish nothing but the best for that dude, and for all those involved in this film and that scene.
Here’s the trailer for Inside the Circle:
More info on the film here.
Here’s a clip of an interview with Romeo from a few years ago:
And here are some highlights from B-Boy City 15 that are part of the bonus material from the Inside the Circle DVD:
Danny Boyle is a living legend and quite possibly the most versatile director in Hollywood. The movie shares similar visual style to some that are present in Fernando Meirelles’ movies and in Rodrigo Prieto’s work. Slumdog Millionaire is gritty, heartbreaking, depressing and beautiful all at once. Make it a point to see this movie before it leaves theatres.
Bonus: Freida Pinto is the single most gorgeous thing on this planet. Deal!
Notorious premieres January 19th, 2009 (one day before Inauguration Day). While I’m excited to see if a hip hop biopic can be done accurately and still maintain some dignity for the artists and fans, I fully anticipate that I will be not only let down, but also insulted. There is hope however. Having Cheo Coker as a co-writer MAY balance out some of the fuckery that I would normally expect from a hip hop based biopic (read: Get Rich or Die Tryin’ & Krush Groove).
Cast and other tidbits here.
DJ LIL TIGER starts things off with a love-themed Soul set with splashes of classic disco and contemporary R&B. EMPANADAMN holds it down in the second half with a mesh of synthy dance, pop, Hip-Hop and electro.