Dave Chappelle throws down

Mar 052006
Authors: Ryan Skeels

Just when you thought Bjork and Dave Chappelle would never have anything in common, director Michel Gondry comes along and makes the connection.

Having directed several Bjork, Massive Attack and Chemical Brothers videos along with 2004's "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," it was exciting to hear Gondry was teaming up with Chappelle to capture on film the biggest block party to ever hit Brooklyn.

In the summer of 2004, in the midst of his exponentially rising stardom, Chappelle decided it was high time to throw himself, Brooklyn, some folks from Yellow Springs, Ohio, and all movie goers alike a massive party. Wanting to do it like it should be done, Dave gathered up a handful of his favorite artists to play the gig.

Chappelle recruited Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, Common, Erykah Badu, Kanye West, the Roots crew and even talked the Fugees into playing their first show since 1997. Concertgoers were required to sign up online and then given a location to meet in Manhattan where they would be bused to the secret location in Brooklyn.

The film is a documentation of the actual block party intermixed with scenes of Chappelle organizing the event as well as rehearsal footage.

If you're familiar with Gondry's work as a director, you are probably as equally surprised at the decision for him to take on the film. Gondry usually films more experimental, original and unusual material than a straight-up documentary style concert movie. But with the help of "Eternal Sunshine's" cinematographer Ellen Kuras, he pulls it off phenomenally. With a mixture of exceptional concert footage, seriously heart-warming scenes of Chappelle handing out invitations, and hilarious in-between set and rehearsal scenes there's really no better way of capturing the moment besides being there.

Most people, when they hear that a Dave Chappelle movie is out in theatres, are probably going to run to the theatre expecting a non-stop laugh attack of the normal Chappelle humor. However this is not the case, and for those people who walked out of the theatre on Saturday, do you realize you missed The Fugees? Check out this flick for some old-school style bumpin' party times with small bits of humor intermixed.

4 out of 5 ramheads.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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