Two genres: two movies (pt 1)

I don’t know that genre is the right word here but it’ll have to do. One is Rasta the other is early hip-hop.

I think I was having a quick read of the wikipedia page on Rastafarianism and came across a short list of films to do with it. One is _Rockers_ (1978). Apparently it started off only intending to be a doco on Rasta life but turned into a full-length film with something of a story to it. This is the thing that the two movies mentioned here have in common – they do really well at showing a slice of the niche they’re about but the plotline is barely there. I don’t mind that. I got to thinking we put too much emphasis on whether a plot makes sense when it comes to film.

There was quite a bit of the ganja smoking in it. There was also several well know Jamaican musicians from the time. I found the fashion kind of interesting. Eventhough the main Rasta colours are red, green and gold, occasionally the colours of the Angolan flag, red green and black pop up. Somewhere this is mentioned on the wikipedia page but I forget what it’s about.

And even more interesting was the creole of English that they use there in Jamaica. There were subtitles, and they were speaking English of a kind but I’d be buggered if I could understand it without the subs. There were certain words that got used a lot, like ‘forward’ and ‘rascal’ and it makes me wonder why those particualr words…   Also, words used to insult people, like “bumba clot” (something I heard a lot in grand theft auto 4) was actually bum cloth, which I guess is another way of saying ‘asswipe’.

 

The hip-hop film is _Wildstyle_ (1983). I came across this because it was mentioned on this really awesome page that had a whole bunch of pictures of ghetto blasters. I don’t know where that page is now. Wildstyle shows a bit of the graffiti culture and the rapping culture that are central to hip-hop. At times the film is almost like a musical. Again, there’s a bunch of rappers who were famous at the time cameoing, like Grand Master Flash.

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