Film of the Day - Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!


Yauch, Horovitz, Diamond: The Beastie Boys

Adam Yauch, Adam Horovitz, Mike Diamond: The Beastie Boys

 

A movie for every day of the year – a good one

 

 

4 May

 

Adam Yauch dies, 2012

On this day in 2012, Adam Yauch, one of the Beastie Boys, died, aged 47. He had formed the Beastie Boys in high school in 1981. The band was originally a punk band but, losing two members, original members Yauch and Adam Horovitz, gained a third, Michael Diamond and switched to hip hop in 1984, taking on hip hop names en route – MCA, Ad-Rock and Mike D respectively. A string of singles followed, then came a tour with Madonna, before the band released their debut album Licensed to Ill, which was a monster hit and continues to sell well to this day. As a result of the success of this album, and seven subsequent albums which went platinum, at least, the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2012, though they were more a mainstream arthouse band than anything, like The Residents with a Top 20 presence. A month later, Yauch was dead of salivary gland cancer, which he’d first had diagnosed in 2009.

 

 

 

Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That! (2006, dir: Adam Yauch)

Not many films have a semi-colon in their title, or a “fuckin’” for that matter. But then the Beastie Boys tend to do things differently. And a band that was always experimenting, with musical forms from hip hop to punk to jazz funk to sampled esoterica to country, and were early and large into the internet, did something different with this “concert” documentary. They gave out 50 cameras to members of the audience at a gig in New York’s Madison Square Garden in October 2004, then took the footage and edited it together. Adam Yauch edited it together, in fact, and he must some kind of award for saintliness, considering the amount of footage there must have been. Of course, it’s a bit of a cheat, making a virtue of the “unauthored” nature of the film and then having someone essentially author it in the edit suite. Plus there’s a handy camera stuck on the mixing desk (by Yauch?) which provides a still place around which the ping-ponging, pogoing, moshing footage of the other cameras can be grouped. But, you know what, it works. The fizzing, swinging points of view capture the essence of being there, certainly a lot better than the old standby at gigs – the all-seeing robot camera gliding over the heads of the audience with no real feel for the sound and energy of the event. Apparently, there are a few other cameras being operated by professionals too, but Yauch also incorporates that footage without losing the overall sweaty, partying vibe. It really helps that the band are on form, performing their hits, working the crowd, slipping out of hip hop Adidas into tuxes for their mid-section jazz-funk workout, before heading back to the stabby rock that they started out playing. People dance, they bounce, one guy even goes to the toilet, taking his camera along with him. And Yauch leaves it in, showing the Beastie philosophy of playfulness is alive and kicking. This is the first Wiki-gig on film.

 

 

Why Watch?

 

  • An unusual way to film a gig
  • Because the Beasties with this line-up don’t exist any more
  • Its “you are there” atmosphere
  • Fan fiction from the blog generation

 

© Steve Morrissey 2014

 

 

Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That – at Amazon

Awesome; I… Shot That – at Amazon – Amazon also sell this coy relabel for those who don’t drop the f-bomb

 

 

 

imdb poster Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!
Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That! (2006)
Run time: 90 min
Rating: 7.4
Genres: Documentary | Music
Director: Adam Yauch
Stars: Mike D, Adam Horovitz, Adam Yauch
Trivia: A live performance shot by audience members at a 2004 Beastie Boys concert at Madison Square Garden.
Storyline A live performance shot by audience members at a 2004 Beastie Boys concert at Madison Square Garden.
Plot Keywords: rap, rap star, hip hop culture, rapping, contraction in title
Box Office Opening Weekend: $18,074 (USA) (31 March 2006)
Gross: $161,351 (USA) (28 April 2006)