The Grime and the Glamour: Wild Style (15)
30 September 2017
Shot over three years, primarily on location in the Bronx, Wild Style is celebrated today as an invaluable record of graffiti, MCing, breakdancing and turntabalism in their earliest manifestations – and as the trailblazing classic that first brought hip hop to the world.
A loosely-scripted fusion of fiction and documentary, it centres on up-and-coming graffiti artist Zoro (real life street artist George Lee Quiñones), promoter Phade (Fab 5 Freddy) and journalist Virginia – played by underground actress Patti Astor, later a key player in the downtown art world, founder of the FUN gallery, and early supporter of painter Jean-Michel Basquiat.
A minimal plot provides the excuse for appearances by the likes of graffiti artist Lady Pink, rap king Busy Bee, and breakdance crews Electric Force and Rock Steady, and some vivid set-pieces – including Grandmaster Flash spinning records in his mum’s kitchen, a rap-battle between Cold Crush and the Fantastic Freaks on a South Bronx basketball court, and a rousing finale at the East River Ampitheater, where Rammellzee roams the stage with a shotgun.
US 1983 Dir Charlie Ahearn 82 min