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Style Wars1983

  • 4.4
When director Tony Silver and co-producer Henry Chalfant delivered the broadcast version of their prize-winning film to PBS in 1983, the world received its first full immersion in the phenomenon that had taken over New York City. The urban landscape was physically transformed by graffiti artists who invented a new visual language to express both their individuality, and the voice of their community. In STYLE WARS, New York's ramshackle subway system is their public playground, battleground, and spectacular artistic canvas. As MC's, DJ's and B-boys rock the city with new sounds and new moves, we see street corner breakdance battles turn into performance art. STYLE WARS has become an emblem of the original, embracing spirit of hip hop as it exploded into the world from underground tunnels, uptown streets, clubs and playgrounds. New York's legendary kings of graffiti own a special place in the hip hop pantheon. This film is regarded as the definitive document of the emerging hip hop culture, and the continuing struggle to keep its authentic spirit alive.

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Member Reviews (2)

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top reviewer

yeah cool pretty amazing really_i was living in NY then_ i saw it happen

beautifully shot and presented, great music. gives a face and ample voice to the young men (only men back then i guess) who were involved. and the bureaucrats who speak on the side of the law really show their butts as philistines.

i was living there then too, and saw most of the big "burner" works live and in person. when one of those cars came into the station, it was as if a garden had just pulled up into the dismal, screeching, piss-scented concrete tunnel. hats off to all the artists, and to this documentary too!