directed by David LaChappelle
From the opening sequences of a riot ravaged Los Angeles to the final moments of youthful exuberance, David LaChappelle’s epic doc beckons all of us to dig deep and find that spirit of hope that refuses to die, ever. RIZE is powerful in the way a spiritual or revelatory experience is powerful, which makes comparing it to other films a difficult task. LaChappelle is at true artist whose strengths rest in visual storytelling (see his canon of photography for fine examples), and his music videos belie an energetic spirit that reflect his photos. His first foray into the world of krump was during the filming of a Christina Aguilera video. A dancer invited LaChappelle to check out the local dance scene in South Central, and from then on he knew that he wanted to tell the story of this style of dance, its origins and its key players. Enter Tommy the Clown, founder of The Tommy Academy and superfly Myagi to a throng of hip hop Danny Russos who utilize the medium to express their frustrations, rage and joy. From its beginnings, a rift developed that seemed to separate two diverging factions concerning the dance style. Enter Lil C, Dragon, Miss Prissy and Tight Eyez, and it is a crime that these names are not currently synonymous with everything that is pure and wonderful about dance. Good for Lil C for making it as a judge on So You Think You can Dance? (the only reason I watch that show, or even give it any credibility), but what about the rest, Hollywood? Bull, that’s what I say. Tight Eyez summed it up when he said the world was waiting for a new youth, a new group of young ambassadors with morals who could be role models. It’s all right there for you; good values, hood edge and raw talent. That’s the most cynical of stances, I understand, and I would hate for it to come to that, but I am illustrating that even by the most vacuous and money grubbing of viewpoints, these kids are like gold. WTF? They should be in everything.
I am officially inviting slash begging all of you (the aforementioned as well as Swoop, Baby Tight Eyez, Larry, Termite, all y’all) to my next birthday party. And by the way, you will always be on my Academy Award short list for best Documentary, no matter what the year.
If you want to read another rant about this absolute must see doc, peep my earlier review. Ugh, BC. Doubling up again? Yes, dammit! Because some things are worth repeating. Like when your dad finished yelling at you about something, then left the room to grab a beer, and when he came back it was like, “And another thing…,” and you knew you were going to get lectured for at least another 20 minutes.