There aren't many filmmakers who are in the right place at the right time to capture the start of a subculture; most documentary projects come together around an idea or movement when popularity is at a fever pitch -- but by the time the dust settles and the film comes out, the fever has cooled and we're left with an embarrassing relic of a moment in time. (See the two dueling Lambada movies in 1990 -- or better yet...don't).
|Music Box Films|
|Charlie Ahearn's hip-hop documentary was never late to the party -- it was right on time.|
Charlie Ahearn's 1983 triumphant Wild Style, playing Monday, January 19 at the Alamo Drafthouse, is one of those rare films that was ahead of the zeitgeist. It was instrumental in successfully documenting a new little movement called hip-hop and its fresh, multiple points of entry: graffiti art, break-dancing, fashion, turntable mastery and rap music. Ahearn had been approached by charming graffiti artist Fred Braithwaite, who essentially handed him the keys to the kingdom: Hang out with Fab Five Freddy and his friends who were starting an artistic revolution in the Bronx, turn the camera on -- and the film will practically make itself.
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