My Thoughts On…Beats, Rhymes & Life

A peerless piece of work about creativity, family, community, New York, Hip Hop, integrity and flawless beats. This documentary is raw, featuring some fantastic intimate footage of a band falling apart, allowing the audience to see first hand the intensity of ‘artistic differences’. Candid, and all power to the band for allowing Michael Rapaport to capture everything.

The negatives are outweighed by positives and the mark of truth for any piece of work documenting ‘seminal’ art is the level of contributor talking and it’s clear from the array of talking heads here, that A Tribe Called Quest truly are a seminal Hip Hop group.

It’s a beautiful story of an art form at its peak, and of a city alive with the throb of an art form, permeating everything, every corner, and a group of young men with the bond of family and one man with the scope to look beyond, and take his brothers in arms with him.

The music is incredible, and the sheer joy and awe that is put forth by those paying homage to the band make this a special film, one that never shirks from struggle, but places the good and the bad in harmony.

Hospice (10)

So Maurice Sendak passed away and as David so lovingly put it, his work is already a big formative influence on Hospice.

And Friday, Adam Yauch passed away. These are reminders of what the core of Hospice concerns; death and its timing and the importance of living, not merely existing.

This morning I’ve been listening to the new Richard Hawley album ‘Standing On The Sky’s Edge’ having read about its creation in The Observer. Learning that it was inspired by nature and the passing of one of his friends made me want to hear it and it is wonderful. Shamefully, the first Hawley album I’ve owned, but then I always say art and artists come to us when we need them.

I can already feel that within it are great inspirations for my writing of Hospice. Tonally, atmospherically, lyrically. Even the album cover conveys much of what I want this piece to feel like in terms of colour and perspective.

So a sad week, but one that reminds us of the beauty of life, and the importance of seizing it. Despite the title, and those themes this is not a story of despair, but one of hope and optimism.

My Thoughts On…Logan’s Run

What do you do when you find out the world is lying to you? When everything you know is a construct, used to keep you in your place?

Fight it, of course. 

Sad to watch this film on the day Adam Yauch, a fighter of impeccable grace and style and imagination passed away. Can’t help shake the feeling that this seminal Sci Fi film is a prescient look at the world now, where we idly ignore what must be the reality, in favour of blind, bland conformity.

This is a great movie. Top score, amazing model work and a great yarn. Michael York is suitably aggrieved, even if he never really has any depth. Agutter looks great, Ustinov is perfectly cast as the doddery old man, the revelation of the real world. 

Timely, and timeless. The fact that Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Refn are circling a remake also makes me very excited. 

So thank you Adam Yauch for the great work you did, and the work for a better world you inspired. May you go with grace. You were 47, and you made the most of it. Like Logan frees his people to live beyond 30, and to live free and with meaning, may we carry your light with us and make this world better.