Fashion photographer and music-video director David LaChapelle’s documentary about Krumping, the brutally physical, adrenalised street dance movement in South Central LA which rose, in the aftermath of the 1992’s Rodney King riots, from the Clowning movement. Yes, clowning as in painting the face and putting on big baggy clothes. Think rap face-to-face showdowns, …

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Hacking Democracy

Hacking democracy screengrab

      It’s amazing what a bit of solid investigative journalism can turn up. Hacking Democracy is essentially an interim report on the work of the Black Box Voting (BBV) organisation, a group of public spirited US individuals who were set up by activist Bev Harris after she discovered that a US senator had …

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Beyond Hatred

Jean-Paul Chenu and Marie-Cecile Chenu

    Olivier Meyrou’s cool and dispassionate documentary focuses on the trial of the three French skinheads who beat a young gay man to a bloody pulp in Rheims, France, and then drowned him, seemingly on something of a whim. At first the film seems to labour at a distinct disadvantage, since neither the accused …

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Cream: Farewell Concert

Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton of Cream

    You don’t see films about popular music stars of the 21st century on the big screen too often. Recently Katy Perry and Justin Bieber have managed it, and a few years back there was Dig! – about the rivalry between the Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols – which almost qualifies. But …

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The Grace of God

Gérald L'Ecuyer

      Now this one is a hard sell. It starts with its director, Gérald L’Ecuyer, addressing the confessional camera, telling of the 16 psychiatrists and the one doomed affair he went through to make this film. Then the film proper starts and it turns out it’s all about a young man and his …

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Standing in the Shadows of Motown

    Thanks to the postmodern turn of our retro-fixated culture, even teenagers today have heard of the great Tamla-Motown label. And playing on nearly every one of the 110 top ten hits coming out of Detroit between 1959 and 1972 were a loose collaboration of crack musicians called the Funk Brothers. They played on …

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I Became a Ukrainian Vodka Baron

    Meet Dan Edelstyn. He’s made a film, he’s resurrected a vodka brand and he’s reviving the fortunes of a faraway Ukrainian village     Halfway through making a documentary about his grandmother, director Dan Edelstyn realised he was going to have to start all over again. The film he’d been shooting since 2005 – …

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