Here’s more info via the press release that I jacked:
ego trip, the New York-based creative collective behind the top-rated VH1 reality programs The (White) Rapper Show and Miss Rap Supreme, as well as the critically-acclaimed Book of Rap Lists and Big Book of Racism!, proudly presents three monthly programs of rarely-screened, short-form, independently produced hip-hop related documentaries at the acclaimed Maysles Institute of Harlem USA.
The series kicks off on Thursday, January 28th, 2010 with showings of two seminal depictions of South Bronx gang culture. First up is the colourful and compelling 80 Blocks From Tiffanyâ€™s (1979), produced and directed by Gary Weis. Chronicling the unforgettable real-life characters of the Savage Skulls and the Savage Nomads street gangs, as well as other members of their SBX community, itâ€™s an indispensable portrait of the environment that spawned hip-hopâ€™s eventual creative explosion. Also screening is Shotgun (1982), a similarly gritty depiction of New York City gang life from director Steve Goodman. Both filmmakers will be present at the screening, as well as Ponce Laspina, a former 5th Division President of the notorious Savage Skulls, and NYPD Detective Robert Werner (who appears prominently in 80 Blocks).
The second program in the series takes place on Thursday, February 25th, 2010, and features the inspirational Electric Boogie (1983), produced and directed by Swedish / US filmmaker Tana Ross. The film intimately follows four African-American and Latino youths coming up in the early â€™80s South Bronx, and their unflagging devotion to the art b-boy-ing and breaking. Also on tap is distinguished UK documentarian Dick Fontaineâ€™s Beat This!: A Hip Hop History (1984). This tremendous, highly stylized BBC production features dynamic appearances by a veritable whoâ€™s who of original school luminaries: Kool Herc (in what are perhaps his most revealing and personal public interviews), Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force, the Cold Crush Brothers, Lisa Lee, Sha-Rock, graffiti writer Brim of Tats Cru, and Officer Kevin Hickey of the NYPDâ€™s infamous Vandal Squad. Rhymed narration provided by NYC broadcasting legend Gary Byrd. Slated to appear at the screening are Electric Boogieâ€™s Tana Ross and Freke Vuijst and additional special guests.
The third and final night of the â€œUnder The Influence Of ego tripâ€ series, Thursday, March 25th, 2010, is a â€œGolden Eraâ€ rap-star-studded affair. We commence by bumrushing the stage occupied by hip-hop icons Public Enemy and LL Cool J â€“ gaining full-access to a1987 European concert in an untitled overseas production never before screened Stateside. We continue on with the cult favorite Big Fun In The Big Town (1986), a superb Dutch production directed by Bram van Splunteren. Big Fun offers fascinating interviews and rare footage of Run-DMC with Jam Master Jay, Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew, Biz Markie, Roxanne ShantÃ©, Russell Simmons, the late, great Mr. Magic, Marley Marl, MC Shan, Grandmaster Flash, and the one and only Schoolly-D (amongst others!). Philly hip-hop legend and pioneer, the great Schoolly-D himself, and former Def Jam Records and Rush Productions Director of Publicity, and Eye Jammie Fine Arts Gallery curator Bill Adler (who also makes a cameo in Big Fun) will be on hand after the screening to share their thoughts on hip-hopâ€™s heyday. Donâ€™t miss this sureshot extravaganza!
The Mayslesâ€™ have been making groundbreaking films for over 50 years and are immensely respected in the documentary genre. Their works include the classic Rolling Stones-featured Gimme Shelter (1970) â€“ frequently hailed as the greatest rock â€˜nâ€™ roll documentary ever made â€“ as well as the cult classic-turned-Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Grey Gardens (1976), and the landmark Salesman (1968). In addition to filmmaking, Mr. Albert Maysles is responsible for bringing non-profit cinema to the heart of Harlem. The Maysles Cinema is a part of The Maysles Institute and is not only devoted to showing the best in documentary filmmaking, but also features a summer program for children that instructs them how to make their own documentaries. Entrance to screenings at The Maysles Cinema is by suggested donation.
The Maysles Institute
343 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Blvd. (b/t 127th and 128th Streets)
New York, NY 10027
Thursday, January 28th, 2010, 7:30pm
80 Blocks From Tiffanyâ€™s (60 min., 1979)
Shotgun (30 min., 1982)
Thursday, February 25th, 2010, 7:30pm
Electric Boogie (30 min., 1983)
Beat This!: A Hip Hop History (60 minutes, 1984)
Thursday, March 25th, 2010, 7:30pm
Public Enemy and LL Cool J Live In Europe (30 min., 1987)
Big Fun In The Big Town (40 min., 1986)