Style Wars (DVD)
“If you want to know what hip hop is really all about, see a film called Style Wars”
“A breakthrough documentary.”
– The New York Times
Style Wars is the legendary hip-hop documentary and timeless film classic – the indispensable record of a golden age of youthful creativity and exploding hip-hop subculture. Graffiti artists have physically transformed the urban landscape and invented a new visual language to express both their individuality and the voice of the community. Style Wars captures the look and feel of New York’s ramshackle subway system as the graffiti writers’ public playground, battleground and spectacular artistic canvas. Opposing them by every means possible were Mayor Edward Koch, the police and the New York Transit Authority. Meanwhile, MC’s, DJ’s and B-Boys were rocking the city with new sounds and new moves, as street corner break-dance battles became performance art.
The soundtrack features classic performances by The Sugar Hill Gang, The Treacherous Three, The Fearless Four, Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five, Trouble Funk, Rammellzee/K-Rob and Dion. Directed by Tony Silver and produced by Tony Silver and photographer Henry Chalfont, Style Wars was awarded the Grand Prize for Documentaries at the Sundance Film Festival in 1984 and in 2003 it was newly acclaimed at New York’s Tribeeker Festival and at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. The film has been remixed for the DVD in 5.1 surround sound, offering over 3 hours of additional documentary and artistic material, earning it the title of Best DVD of the Year by The Onion.
Over 23 minutes of original outtake footage · Feature commentary and interview with the director and producer · 32 artist galleries including new interviews, trains and rare photos · Tributes to Dondi and Shy 147 · Guest interviews with Fab 5 Freddy, Goldie, Guru, DJ Red Alert and photographer Martha Cooper · “Destroy All Lines” 30 min. loop of over 200 cars and burners.
UK press reviews:
“Essential… Style Wars and the culture it documents remain as indelible as ever”
– Hip Hop Connection
“Never has the culture of hip hop been so masterfully and beautifully captured…A must-have in any music connoisseur’s collection… a hip hop milestone” – Touch
“An inspirational touchstone” – The Times
“An incredible documentary” – Mojo
“Superb…music, dance and art in perfect synergy” – DVD Review
“(the) seminal Style Wars remains as captivating, inspiring and revealing as ever… a priceless guide to a form of expression for youth all over the world”
– The Metro Newspaper
“An excellent record of the times…. For years, Style Wars has been rightly considered the last word on the subject, but this disc makes the whole thing even better”
– The Guardian
“Packed with fascinating footage, it’s even more relevant given the recent rise of stencil subversives such as Banksy” – Q Magazine
“With a stunning soundtrack…. Style Wars is the definitive blueprint of hip-hop’s rise to prominence” – Home Entertainment Week
“Exhilarating…fascinating…. essential viewing for all fans of early hip-hop culture”
“A perfect DVD…. a must for anyone interested in breaking, graff, hip hop or the history of New York and youth culture” – Play Music Pickup