Rize

Directed by David LaChapelle

> > Nov 2005

Rize - Directed by David LaChapelle
By Travis Mackenzie HooverWorn out your copy of Born into Brothels? Never fear, the fatuous social conscience of Rize is here to fill the gap. Photographer David LaChapelle trains his camera on the phenomenon of "krumping," an impossibly fast dance born out of clowning and the L.A. riots performed by inner-city Angelinos. The super-athletic, insanely precise dancing is the chief reason to see this movie, and admittedly it's a pretty compelling one, but of course LaChapelle can't leave it at that and turns to some very facile "poor people are sad" documentarising. The problem isn't that he identifies the dancers as the low men and women on the economic totem pole, but that it's as far as his attentions go. Like Brothels, the film says its subjects are artists, oppressed and damned little else. LaChapelle is less self-impressed than Zana Briski, and seems motivated by genuine awe for the form. But the fact is he doesn't really investigate the personalities of his subjects, who wind up viewed through a glass darkly from a pretty far distance. True, the civics lesson has to compete with the astonishing performances, which may carry the day in your liking the movie, but as an investigation of politics, deprivation or just plain people it falls well short. Extras include an introduction by LaChapelle and the principal subjects, some non-existent "filmmaking insight" with LaChapelle, a Q&A at the Tribeca Film Festival with the proud cast, a LaChapelle photo gallery, a demonstration of some of the dance moves, extended dance sequences (almost worth the purchase), deleted scenes, and a director's commentary. (Maple)


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