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On Blast: Company Flow appear in 'Word.'

Burn, Hollywood Burn

Hip-hop's full spectrum gets airing at film festival

By Todd Inoue

IF HIP-HOP HISTORY was gathered from music videos or late-night reruns of Breakin II: Electric Boogaloo, revisionist history would run rampant. The Hip-Hop Film Festival seeks to rectify this situation. The roots of the four hip-hop elements--graffiti, MCing, DJing and B-boying--are slavishly covered in new documentaries in this traveling festival and forum. Also included are films about women in hip-hop, the independent scene, beatboxing and the acclaimed Kevin Epps documentary Straight Outta Hunters Point. The film festival stops at MACLA and the Towne Theater Oct 22-27 in San Jose.

Scratch is a feature-length documentary that explores the evolution of the hip-hop DJ. The cameras catch amazing live shows and interviews with early pioneers and new school innovators. Grandwizard Theodore, Grandmaster Flash, Q-Bert, Mixmaster Mike, Steve D, Rob Swift and more muse on the culture's progress. Scratch delivers a linear, comprehensive look at the genre.

Straight Outta Hunters Point exposes the escalating violence linked to competing record labels in San Francisco's Hunters Point. Much more than a film about turf wars, the film goes deep to uncover the social conditions and history of the Point. Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme traces the history of spontaneous off-the-dome verbals--from oral storytelling to today's sweaty rhyme ciphers. The film features insight and performances from Mos Def, Black Thought, Freestyle Fellowship, Lord Finesse, Supernatural, MC Juice and Jurassic Five. Nobody Knows My Name takes a peek into the lives of women in hip-hop. The film reveals the struggles, glories and heartbreak of representing both hip-hop and womanhood at the same time. Rappers, DJs and B-girls Medusa, T-Love, Lisa, Asia One, DJ Symphony and Leschea are shown in performance and intimate conversation. Breath Control: History of the Human Beatbox presents the roots and evolution of human percussion from Doug E. Fresh and the Fat Boys to its present-day figureheads Rahzel and Scratch.

Graffiti Vérité is a documentary that puts historical relevance to the graffiti art movement. Word is a profile of the New York City independent scene with performance and commentary from Dead Prez, Company Flow, M.O.P, Eminem and Capone. Poetric License follows teens from San Francisco, New York and the Navajo Nation of New Mexico as they compete in the 1999 National Slam Competition in Albuquerque, N.M. Black Picket Fences, directed by Sergio Goes, is a moving portrait through the projects of Brooklyn and into the life of Tislam Milliner, a struggling rapper.

Wednesday, Oct 23, at MACLA, 510 S. First St., San Jose
3pm Scratch
5pm Word
7pm Black Picket Fences
9pm Poetic License

Thursday, Oct. 24, at the Towne Theater, 1433 The Alameda, San Jose
3pm Graffiti Vérité
5pm Scratch
7pm The Freshest Kids
9pm Straight Outta Hunters Point

Friday, Oct. 25, at the Towne Theater
3pm Word
5pm Black Picket Fences
9pm Straight Outta Hunters Point
11pm Freestyle

Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Towne Theater
3pm Nobody Knows My Name
5pm Breath Control
7pm Freestyle

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From the October 17-23, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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