Essential New York
M
1983 (69mins)
Dir: Tony Silver

Style Wars

Style Wars is universally acclaimed as THE definitive hip hop documentary. It’s one of the very few documentaries that’s in, of and from the moment. It’s excellent in every way and unfolds with structural and visual surprises at every turn - fine art meets street art and right at the start.

Opening with the fully orchestrated classical sounds of Wagner’s Siegfried’s Funeral March, Style Wars (literally) paints a history of the development of the New York hip hop scene seen through the phenomenal graffiti art movement of the time.

Using the iconic photographs of Henry Chalfant (who produced the film), Tony Silver’s famous film traverses the streets, alleys, subways, basketball courts and secret places that these extraordinary artists inhabit.

Along the way Silver and Chalfant construct a fantastic portrait of a city in a state of enormous social change - a change that was to resonate around the world with the music and art it was to produce.

Packed to overflowing with breakdancing, art in motion, music, brilliant photography and an energy you can almost grab hold of, Style Wars is a one of a kind documentary and a true record of a real moment.

An artistic, filmic and cultural must see.