Electric Purgatory: The Fate of the Black Rocker (2005)Vodpod videos no longer available.
Electric Purgatory is a documentary that examines the struggles of black rock musicians and the industry’s ambivalence towards them. Director Raymond Gayle spent the better part of a year traveling around the United States interviewing many of Black Rock’s elite including Fishbone,Vernon Reid, Adam Falcon, Jimi Hazel and Cody Chesnutt.Distinguished journalists such as Flip Barnes, Darrell McNeil,Charlie Braxton, and Greg Tate, share their opinions and insight on the dilemma facing these artists. The film will explore the origins of the Black Rock Coalition and its relevance in the music industry. The project will also take a look at the stigma Black Rock musicians face in the Black community and more importantly how to bring the Black audiences back into the fold.
Open Air, Street Art / Graffiti Documentary (2006)Vodpod videos no longer available.
In 2006, we created this short for the University of Southern California’s Public Arts Studies Program.This documentary explored the studios and methods of six of the top street artists in America: Faile, Skewville, Mike De Feo, Dan Witz, Espo and Tiki Jay One.Official selection of the Coney Island Film Festival and the Freewaves International Film Festival.Directed and Edited by Lou
BDK: The Big Daddy Kane Story (2009)Vodpod videos no longer available.
When it comes to hip hop, there are only a handful of people that truly deserve to be called legends. In BDK, we learn the story of one of hip hops most notable legends, Big Daddy Kane. From music to fashion, Kane has always been a quintessential figure of the Golden Era of hip hop. In this documentary, directed by Anthony Marshall (co-founder of Lyricist Lounge), Kane talks about his years growing up as a kid in New York, his life in the rap game and his influence.
STYLE WARS (1983)
Tony Silver and Henry Chalfant’s historic PBS documentary Style Wars tracks the rise and fall of subway graffiti in New York in the late 1970s and early 1980s. At the peak of its popularity, graffiti was as much a part of B-boy culture as rapping, scratching, and breaking. The filmmakers present a sympathetic, but well-rounded portrait of their subject through extensive interviews with taggers–notably Seen, Kase, and Dondi–art collectors, transit authorities, and even Mayor Ed Koch, who would eventually put the hammer down. Along the way, they documented the burgeoning breakdance scene, with a focus on the world-famous Rock Steady Crew.
American Hardcore (2006)
The history of hardcore punk–the tougher, faster, and more politically minded stepchild of the ’70s punk movement that arose in the ’80s–is examined in exuberant detail in Paul Rachman’s documentary American Hardcore. Rachman’s cameras careen across the landscape of the U.S. to trace the movement’s beginnings in cities like Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York, and cherrypicks interviews with the musicians that helped shape its sound and impact, including Henry Rollins and Greg Ginn of Black Flag, H.R. (frontman for the highly influential, all-African American outfit Bad Brains), Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat (and now Fugazi), and many others. Hardcore’s violent reaction against the Reagan administration and the complacent mindset of middle-class America is also detailed in countless performance footage clips and poster-art reproductions, which do much to dismiss the popular opinion of hardcore as nothing more than mindless hooliganism.
Beat Street (1984)
Beat Street is a hip-hop classic feature film with songs by Grandmaster Melle Mel & the Furious Five, breakdance battles between the New York City Breakers and the Rock Steady Crew, and cameos by beatboxer Doug E. Fresh, Richard Lee Sisco, and the Treacherous Three.
Wild Style (1983)
Wild Style was the first hip hop motion picture. Released independently in 1982 by First Run Features and later re-released for home video by Rhino Home Video, the movie featured Fab Five Freddy, Lee Quinones, the Rock Steady Crew, The Cold Crush Brothers, Patti Astor, Sandra Fabara and Grandmaster Flash. The protagonist is the legendary New York graffiti artist “Lee” George Quinones as “Zoro”.
The Freshest Kids (2002)
Breaking… Born at Kool D.J. Herc’s House parties in the early ’70s, catapulted to a worldwide phenomenon in the ’80s, and now experiencing its latest gravity-defying incarnation as a thriving underground movement, “The Freshest Kids” brings to you the illest B-Boying this planet has ever witnessed. Over two hours of hardcore breaking gives you an all-access pass to the underground world of B-Boys spanning the last 25+ years. See and hear the early history via rare archival footage and exclusive interviews with The Nigga Twins, Spy (the man with 1000 moves), Rock Steady Crew icons Crazy Legs and Ken Swift, The New York City Breakers, Mr. Wiggles, Styelements and the world’s most innovative B-boys of the next generation along with hip-hop legends Kool D.J. Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, KRS-One, Mos Def and many more as they come together to reveal for the first time the most comprehensive history of B-Boying, its evolution and its place within hip-hop culture and beyond.
Freestyle: The Art Of Rhyme (2000)
From neighborhood ciphers to the most notorious MC battles, “Freestyle: the Art of Rhyme” captures the electrifying energy of improvisational hip-hop–the rarely recorded art form of rhyming spontaneously. Like preachers and jazz solos, freestyles exist only in the moment, a modern-day incarnation of the African-American storytelling tradition. Shot over a period of more than seven years, it is already an underground cult film in the hip-hop world. The film systematically debunks the false image put out by record companies that hip-hop culture is violent or money-obsessed. Instead, it lets real hip-hop artists, known and unknown, weave their story out of a passionate mix of language, politics, and spirituality.
Life and Debt – Globalization and Jamaica (2001)
Utilizing excerpts from the award-winning non-fiction text “A Small Place” by Jamaica Kincaid, Life & Debt is a woven tapestry of sequences focusing on the stories of individual Jamaicans whose strategies for survival and parameters of day-to-day existence are determined by the U.S. and other foreign economic agendas.