Though most of my time will be spent watching films at Sundance next week, for those going to Slamdance I highly recommend seeing Casey Suchan and Denis Henry Hennelly’s amazing doc Rock The Bells. Since its premiere at Tribeca last year the film has gained great reviews on the festival circuit and I hope their good fortune continues next week as it will be in competition for Best Doc.
Chronicling the Rock The Bells festival that took place in San Bernardino, California in 2004 that boasted the reuniting of the complete 9-member rap group, The Wu-Tang Clan, we are given incredible access to the behind-the-scenes workings of the all day concert that was over crowded, under prepared and the security overwhelmed to the point where there was almost a riot. The leader of this guerilla unit is Chang Weisberg who we follow every step of the way from promoting the festival, dealing with the lack of security and trying to assemble the Wu to the concert (specifically Ol’ Dirty Bastard).
Throughout the movie Suchan and Hennelly cut away from Weisberg’s journey to focus on the acts on stage who have to deal with broken equipment (acts include Chali 2Na and DJ Nu Mark from Jurassic 5, Dilated Peoples and MC Supernatural) and one camerman’s adventure with Redman to the concert that involves a lot of green smoke.
The access Suchan and Hennelly get is incredible and they use it to paint a gripping (and at times comical) narrative that can be compared to Gimmie Shelter or Woodstock. And for any fan of The Wu Tang Clan or just Hip Hop in general this is a can’t miss.
Screenings are at the Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City.
Jan. 24 – 9:30 p.m.
Jan. 26 – 10:00 a.m.
Another quick shout out goes to FILMMAKER Senior Editor Matthew Ross whose short film Lola will be at Slamdance as well. Be sure to check it out.
Screenings are at the Treasure Mountain Inn (followed by the feature Crime Fiction)
Jan. 19 – 3:30 p.m.
Jan. 22 – 6:00 p.m.