To coincide with the release of Pirate Radio, FilmInFocus reached out to a couple of its favorite DJs for some cinematic selections.
This educational and moving documentary about the late 70’s/early 80’s underground scene which spawned the birth of the “Club DJ” and “House/Dance Music” was a must see for me as a DJ. There’s a touch of sadness to the storytelling but the incredible delight of the music, dancing and the art of DJing shines through.
The main plot of this movie is about a graffiti artist with a subplot being about rap/hip hop music. While the two have an undeniable bond and I greatly admire all the graffiti artwork featured, the film’s breakout star was definitely the rap/hip hop music. It’s a great insight into the start of the genre and the beats are fierce!
Although it’s a romantic fantasy in a musical form as opposed to a movie about music, to me this film is all about the music. Its creative mashups of pop music from the 1940’s to the 1990’s with original compositions and arrangements is unparalleled and an inspiration to musicians, DJs and music lovers alike.
The concept of law-breaking musicians on a mission from God seemed so silly to me yet so fun. Plus when I saw there were cameos by legends like Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles and Cab Calloway, I couldn’t resist seeing it. I was glad I did, the fantastic score of jazzy, gospel, blues music used in the storytelling filled me with joy.
Even though some of the acting was weak, the story of a musician struggling to find his voice is analogous to the struggle everyone faces at one time or another to find their place in the world. That relatable factor topped with the incredible music by Prince eclipsed the B movie aspects of the film for me. I immediately fell in love with it and with Prince.