You know you’ve seen a great film when the trailer makes you want to watch it again immediately.
At Tribeca this year the best film I saw was easily Beats, Rhymes And Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest. Michael Rapaport, of all people, has done the impossible- he’s made the first great documentary about a hip-hop group. It’s only fitting that it’s for one of the all-time greats, a group with a helluva lot of history and fascinating dynamics. The film shows that Rapaoport had a ridiculous level of access to the group, and you really get to know them in a way you never have before. It’s almost an Anvil! A Story of Anvil in that regard- where the people are so comfortable that they ignore the camera and you see the people for what they really are, for better or worse.
It’s perhaps why group leader Q-tip initially was against the film. On Twitter last December he wrote – “”I am not in support of the a tribe called quest documentary,” Q-Tip tweeted Thursday. “The filmmaker should respect the band to the point of honoring the few requests that’s was made abt the piece. The filmmaker shld respect the band enough to honor our request regarding the film.”
Things have apparently changed, as dj Ali Shaheed Muhammad showed up at the Tribeca screening after not showing at Sundance, and him telling the press that he was there to support the film.
Their reluctance is understandable, but if anything this film will endear folks to them even more and make them a new generation of fans. Can’t wait to see this one again in a theater with a pumping system.