Browsing articles in "Movies"
Jun
5
2014

Movies To Check For: “Blacking Up: Hip Hop Remix of Race”

Atlanta Cyclorama Screens Blacking Up: Hip-Hop’s Remix of Race and Identity.
There is a special screening of this documentary tonight at the Atlanta Cyclorama in ATL. Possibly the only time you’ll get to see it on the big screen. Early arrival is suggested.

African American and Latino youth created Hip-Hop more than thirty years ago. The reasons were varied but were partially in response to racial oppression, economic marginalization, and as a means of expression and a way to talk about their culture and their lives. The genre is now embraced by youth the world over and has become part of mainstream youth culture in the United States.

From Cyclorama:

“As we continue our commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War’s Battle of Atlanta we hope to expand the discussion of how the changes that occurred as a result of that war changed the course of our country and our people,” states Camille Russell Love, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “In dealing with racial issues and economic challenges, it’s interesting to look at how different groups express themselves through art and music. Join us at the Atlanta Cyclorama for a free screening of the documentary Blacking Up: Hip-Hop’s Remix of Race on June 5 at 7 pm as we explore the Hip-Hop culture.”

Click Here For More Info (more…)

Jan
5
2014

Movies To Check For: 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s

Un-earthed documentary “80 Blocks From Tiffany’s Re-released after nearly 25 years.

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Five Day Weekend and Traffic Entertainment are proud to announce the release of 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s, director Gary Weis’ 1979 documentary about the South Bronx and its gang culture. The previously unavailable film is now out on DVD, marking the first time it has been offered to the public in decades, and is accompanied by a handful of exciting bonus features.

Director Gary Weis was still working as a short film creator for Saturday Night Live when he came up with the idea for 80 Blocks after reading a Jon Bradshaw article, “Savage Skulls.” Published in a 1977 issue of Esquire Magazine, the piece centered on two gangs based in the South Bronx at the time — the Savage Nomads and the Savage Skulls. Weis became infatuated with the story and, soon after striking up a dialogue with Bradshaw, he convinced SNL producer Lorne Michaels to help him produce the film. Just two years later, in 1979, Weis and Bradshaw brought a camera crew to speak with members of both gangs, along with police officers, community activists, and civilians.

Despite its role as an important and unflinching portrait of a profoundly interesting time in New York and, as pointed out by The New York Times, hip hop’s cultural history, 80 Blocks was, for many years, impossible to find, only briefly available as an educational VHS release in 1985. In the time since its initial release, the documentary has gained an overwhelming cult status. With little to no news coverage over the decades since its release dedicated fans continue to buzz about the film, especially now that the internet has provided fans common ground to fondly look back not only the documentary itself, but the era that it captured so vividly. The Times, in their recent coverage of its release, noted that copies of the documentary have been known to sell for up to $300 on eBay, a seemingly staggering figure until one considers the depth of its reach.

For the first time in 25 years, the film is easily available to the public on a DVD including interviews with producer/filmmaker Weis and director of photography Joan Churchill, as well as a 40 page book comprised of the original “Savage Skulls” article, an essay by David Hollander, and artwork by Julian Allen. Publications such as New York Press and the Amsterdam News have called the film a “time capsule,” but even without the element of nostalgia, 80 Blocks holds up as a portrait of a subculture that might have otherwise been forgotten, as well as an important moment in cinema.

Definitely a great movie to check out if you’ve never seen it and a great movie to own on DVD if your are familiar. Check out the trailer below.

Sep
11
2013

Movies: Iceberg Slim: Portrait Of A Pimp (Official Trailer)

A few months back I told you about the new Iceberg Slim doc in Movies To Check For. I got a chance to see this film earlier this year at the Atlanta Film Festival. It does a great job of giving your the foundation of Iceberg Slim. The conditions and situations which shaped his behavior. It also shows you the side many people probably have never seen… his wife and kids, as well as how his books became thing of legend.

It’s definitely a great piece of work and I can’t wait for the DVD to drop.

Until then… check out the official trailer, and remember, if you ain’t choosing, you losing. Make your next move your best move. Keep it pimping!

Keep an eye out for when this film hits your town. Check showtimes.

Jul
7
2013

Movies To Check For: Venus And Serena

Richard Williams (Serena & Venus’ father) worked a plan… And the plan worked. I can’t wait to see this. Check out the official trailer below.

Mar
16
2013

Movies To Check For: Iceberg Slim “Portrait Of A Pimp”

Been a minute since I left you with a movie to check for. Just found out, there’s a documentary about legendary pimp & author Iceberg Slim being shown in Atlanta. Directed by Jorge Hinojosa and produced by Ice T the film features interviews from Katt Williams, Birdman, Chris Rock, Snoop Dogg, Quincy Jones, and more.

There will be a screening via Atlanta Film Festival for the film this Tuesday 3.19 @ Plaza Theater on Ponce De Leon Ave. Check the flyer below for all the info.

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Here’s a look at Beyond Cinema with Jorge Hinojosa and Ice T speaking about the movie. Check it out.

Oct
28
2012

Television: ESPN 30 For 30 – Benji (Full)

Last Monday night I was hanging out with my OG Chicago homies Will Wes and Chicagorilla. We linked up to catch the Lions/Bears game, which the Bears made the Lions look like cubs. During one of the commercial breaks there was an advertisement for the newest 30 for 30 special entitled “Benji.” I thought it looked okay off first impression, I was happy to see directors Coodie & Chike working on something Chicago based for ESPN. But my friends, who were familiar with the story of Benji, were pretty excited about this documentary. I knew then it was something I would have to check out.

So I have to admit, before this documentary I had never heard of Ben “Benji” Wilson. I was just a toddler when he around. After watching this piece though I felt like he was of the homies who’d I played ball with at the YMCA, or walked to the store with to buy a quarter-water or a soda growing up. His story unfortunately is like that of so many in places like Chicago and New York, a dream deferred.

I must say I really commend ESPN or whomever came up with the concept of 30 for 30 programming and pitched it to them. It’s the best sports based documentaries I’ve ever seen. All of them are great, but some are better than others, and I think this is definitely one that stands out as one of the best.

I learned a lot from watching this piece. Not just about who Benji is and how he played, but also how he inspired a future generation of ball players like D. Rose and Juwan Howard. How basketball kept him and teammate R. Kelly off the streets of the Chi.

When the commercial first aired advertising the Benji special, Chicagorilla said “Man, I remember when that happened it shook the whole city.” After watching it for myself, I can definitely say he wasn’t lying.

Definitely check out this program when you get a chance. At a hour and 20 minutes long with no commercials, it’s a true movie and every piece is great. Salute to Coodie & Chike for representing the Chi to the fullest and telling this story as well as ESPN and Benji’s fam and friends.

Oct
19
2012

Events: RZA / Man With The Iron Fists ATL Tour Stop

RZA is touring the country right now promoting his new movie “The Man With The Iron Fists” which releases on November 2nd. During each stop, RZA is performing along with Wu’s own U-God and in ATL there was a special appearance by Boy Jones (O.D.B.’s son).

During the event which took place at Vinyl, there was also opening acts which included ATL’s own Clan Destined, Kosha Dillz, and Supernatural. Super does what he does best… Freestyling about items people in the crowd are holding up. U-God ran through some solo album cuts as well as his verses on classic Wu bangers such Winter Warz, Triumph, etc. RZA jumped on stage last, pouring champagne on the crowd before passing the bottle throughout the audience. Like U-God he ran through some of classic Wu verses as well as Gravediggaz and Bobby Digital tracks. All in all it was a dope event, glad I got a chance to check it out.

Here’s a couple flicks from the evening.

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Supernatural

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U-God

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The RZA

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RZA welcomes Boy Jones to the stage

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Boy Jones, RZA, & U-God on stage together.

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Aug
30
2012

Movies To Check For: The Man With The Iron Fists (Trailer)

Been waiting on this joint here. New movie directed by Quentin Tarrentino. Featuring RZA, Russell Crowe, Lucy Lu, and host of others. Check out the official trailer. From what I’m hearing the soundtrack is sounding pretty mean too!

Jul
19
2012

Video: Footage Of Blowfly Performing The “Alphabet Song”

*Viewer Discretion Is Advised. Strong language and adult themes are featured in this video.*

This past Saturday night July 14th, I got the chance to catch the legendary Blowfly perform in ATL. The homie 4-Ize also opened the show, and I rocked a few joints with him as well.

Here’s some flicks and video footage I caught of Blowfly doing the “Alphabet Song” live. Check it out.

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Also Blowfly currently has a movie / documentary out there that you can purchase at his shows. It’s called “The Weird World of Blowfly.” Check out the trailer below…

Acclaimed Miami musician Clarence Reid could easily be your cranky grandfather… until he puts on the gold-spangled superhero costume of his alter ego, Blowfly, and starts singing some of the filthiest songs you’ve ever heard in your life. A major force in the Miami soul scene of the 60s and 70s, Reid wrote Top-10 songs for some of the greatest R&B acts of the era, while at the same time, his X-rated recordings and stage antics as Blowfly made him a star of the “party record” scene. Having changed the game in 1965 with what might be the world’s first rap song, Blowfly has shocked and grooved audiences for over forty years since. Today, he is still on tour, struggling for success and recognition after 50 years of making music. An intimate and revealing portrait, The Weird World of Blowfly celebrates Reid’s musical and cultural significance, and paints a picture of an unheralded, hilarious, and stunningly profane man that is as touching as it is obscene.

For more on the film check out http://www.blowflyfilm.com/

Jul
5
2012

Movies To Check For: Red Hook Summer

New film from Spike Lee. Look for this to be out on August 10th. Check out the poster and trailer below.

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RED HOOK SUMMER tells the story of Flik Royale (Jules Brown), a sullen young boy from middle-class Atlanta who has come to spend the summer with his deeply religious grandfather, Bishop Enoch Rouse (Clarke Peters), in the housing projects of Red Hook. Having never met before, things quickly get off on the wrong foot as Bishop Enoch relentlessly attempts to convert Flik into a follower of Jesus Christ. Between his grandfather’s constant preaching and the culture shock of inner-city life, Flik’s summer appears to be a total disaster–until he meets Chazz Morningstar (Toni Lysaith), a pretty girl his age, who shows Flik the brighter side of Brooklyn. Through her love and the love of his grandfather, Flik begins to realize that the world is a lot bigger, and perhaps a lot better, than he’d ever imagined.

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