Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sundance Film: Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

Director: Michael Rapaport
Website: http://www.atribecalledquestmovie.com/

Summary: Having forged a 20-year run as one of the most innovative and influential hip-hop bands of all time, A Tribe Called Quest has kept a generation hungry for more of its groundbreaking music since the group’s much-publicized breakup in 1998. The band shaped a unique sound by wedding jazz-infused musicscapes to Afrocentric rhymes espousing unity and community. Its music became the anthem for cool and broke down barriers for people who had never before connected with hip-hop. In spite of unparalleled artistic success, however, the group encountered pitfalls that eventually caused its tumultuous breakup.
Beats, Rhymes & Life, the feature directorial debut of acclaimed actor Michael Rapaport, documents the inner workings and behind-the-scenes drama that follow the band even today and explores what's next for a group many claim are the pioneers of alternative rap. Rapaport’s passion for his subjects allows them to open up to the camera, resulting in a remarkably honest, emotional portrait that does justice to this seminal band.

Excitement scale (1-10): 5 - Michael Rapaport is an enjoyable actor, but can he translate as a documentary director? The relative lack of buzz (no trailer?) does not bode well for this film. The only thing currently saving it is the subject matter (A Tribe Called Quest is awesome). This could definitely gain steam, but for now, I'm remaining neutral.

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