Rize

Rize

4.4 5
Director: David LaChapelle

Cast: David LaChapelle, Tommy the Clown, Lil Tommy, Larry

     
 

Noted photographer David LaChapelle makes his feature directorial debut with this documentary on a new facet of street culture in South Central Los Angeles. In 1992, after long-simmering racial tensions in Los Angeles erupted in riots following the verdicts in the Rodney King trial, a man named Tommy Johnson sought to spread a new message in a new way to the city's… See more details below

Overview

Noted photographer David LaChapelle makes his feature directorial debut with this documentary on a new facet of street culture in South Central Los Angeles. In 1992, after long-simmering racial tensions in Los Angeles erupted in riots following the verdicts in the Rodney King trial, a man named Tommy Johnson sought to spread a new message in a new way to the city's African-Americans. Creating a character called Tommy the Clown, Johnson developed an act that combined hip-hop-flavored comedy and dancing with an anti-gang and anti-violence message. Johnson's performances became wildly popular in South Central -- so much so that at one point, 50 different groups inspired by Johnson's example were performing in the area. In time, Johnson's loose-limbed dance style inspired a new wave of hip-hop street dancing called "krumping," a wildly athletic style in which arms, legs, and bodies fly with a frenzied abandon that moves at almost inhuman speeds. Rize follows the birth of clown dancing and krumping in South Central, and records how many young people have adopted the dance as a style of competition, offering a safer and healthier alternative to the gang culture that has long dominated Los Angeles. Rize premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The subject matter of Rize may be familiar to some as the target of a famous South Park parody, or as the central activity in You Got Served, the failed fiction-film treatment of competitive urban dancing (which that classic South Park episode also skewers). But only in the documentary format -- where the moves aren't, nor could they possibly be, choreographed -- can a viewer truly appreciate the whiplash bursts of adrenaline known as krumping. Even those who think they understand the scene may not be aware that this electric form originated, more or less, with a man in clown makeup. Rize not only explains that apparent paradox, but goes far deeper into the surrounding Los Angeles youth culture -- chosen by many as an alternative to gang violence -- than it might need to. Why wouldn't it need to? Because the phenomenon David LaChapelle's film captures is so vibrant, so unpredictable, and so enthrallingly watchable, it would work almost as well with no narrative spine at all. The fascination of watching body parts flail -- in all their incomprehensible, improvisational brilliance -- never dwindles. It is, however, somewhat disappointing that the film closes with a Hollywood-style climax, a dance-off known as Tommy the Clown's Battle Zone. The essence of clowning and krumping is that they channel the emotional landscape of an individual dancer, making them too subjective to be compared qualitatively, and it's often difficult to determine why one side is awarded victory over the other, except for the relative boisterousness of the crowd. Most of this film's viewers won't have that problem, wanting to cheer all the participants in Rize with equal vigor. Not only are they genius performers, but they stand triumphant over other life choices that operate perilously close to their arena.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/25/2005
UPC:
0031398183112
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:24:00
Sales rank:
9,040

Special Features

Theatrical full screen version; DVD introduction with cast and director David LaChapelle; Filmmaking insight with director and director of photography; New dancer interviews with director David LaChapelle; Tribeca film festival Q&A with cast; David LaChapelle photo gallery; Dance moves by Rize dancers; Extended dances; Deleted scenes; Director commentary; 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital audio; English and Spanish subtitles; Trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tommy the Clown Participant
Lil Tommy Participant
Larry Participant
Swoop Participant
Nino Participant
Dragon Participant
Lil C Participant
Tight Eyez Participant
Baby Tight Eyez Participant
Daisy Participant
Big Participant
Ms. Prissy Participant
La Nina Participant
Quinesha Participant

Technical Credits
David LaChapelle Director,Producer
Gregory Alt Makeup
Christopher Aud Sound Editor
Amy Marie Beauchamp Score Composer
Jose Cancella Score Composer
Patrick J. Foley Sound Editor
Melanie Glover Makeup
Nathan Hamilton Makeup
Marc Hawker Producer
Sean Hellfritsh Camera Operator
Ellen Jacobson-Clarke Executive Producer
Darcy Jennings Production Manager
Tiffany Johnston Makeup
Brian Lewis Makeup
Leda Maliga Camera Operator
Mark L. Mangino Sound Editor
Jonathan McHugh Musical Direction/Supervision
Stavros Merjos Executive Producer
Barry Peele Executive Producer
Sasha Rendulich Camera Operator
Linda Sammut Makeup
Joseph M. Setele Camera Operator
Rebecca Skinner Executive Producer
Alzo Slade Camera Operator
Morgan Pierre Susser Cinematographer
Richmond Talauega Producer
Tone Talauega Producer
Michael Totten Camera Operator
Fernando Villena Editor
Jon Volcek Camera Operator
Timothy West Sound Mixer
Ishbel Whitaker Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Rize
1. Main Titles/The Riots [3:11]
2. Take It by Storm [1:31]
3. Tommy the Clown [7:37]
4. Doing Something Positive [4:37]
5. Happy Birthday [2:10]
6. Stripper Dance [3:38]
7. Krump [5:49]
8. Our Ghetto Ballet [5:12]
9. Tight Eyez and Family [3:54]
10. Miss Prissy [2:39]
11. Don't Hold Back [2:26]
12. The Battle Zone [3:43]
13. Preparing for Battle [3:28]
14. Miss Prissy Vs. La Niña [2:34]
15. Clowns Vs. Krumpers [5:23]
16. Backstage [2:57]
17. Amazing Grace [8:47]
18. God's Gift [6:02]
19. Curtain Call [3:57]
20. There is No Limit/End Credits [7:13]

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