Tag Archives: art

Beetlejuice (1988) | Tim Burton



Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara Maitland (Geena Davis) love the little home in the country they’ve built for themselves, but after they are killed in a freak accident and come back as ghosts, they are appalled to find that their house has been sold to a tasteless and unpleasant family, who plan one tearing down all they’ve built to redo the house in the tackiest way possible. Now they are determined to do what they can to scare away the family and serve out their 125-year term as apparitions before moving on to the next phase, but a wrench stops up the works when the new owners are pleased with the financial possibilities of the attraction of a haunted house, and it seems the more they scare these new inhabitants, the more amused they get. The Maitlands call on the services of Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton), a crazy and psychotic ghoul who seems to do more harm than good for the Maitland’s tastes. Tim Burton directs.


Style Wars (1983) | Tony Silver



Style Wars is a documentary look at the street art among the youth of New York in the early 1980s, especially in the South Bronx, particularly in graffiti art and break-dancing.  The film takes a balanced look at the youth culture, showing the artistry and thought involved in young people trying to make a name and impact by creating art for people all over the city to see on the side (or the interior) of a subway train, but also shows the frustration on the part of then-mayor Ed Koch, as well as law enforcement, in trying to keep the city from the blight of illegal art that often looks like gibberish to most people.


Beat Street (1984) | Stan Lathan



Producer and activist Harry Belafonte’s commercialized slice-of-life drama stars Guy Davis as Kenny ‘Double K’ Kirkland, a South Bronx hip-hop DJ with big dreams, and Jon Chardiet as Ramon, a Puerto Rican graffiti artist who would rather tag trains than get a real job.  Rae Dawn Chong is Tracy, an upper-class music student from  a college in Manhattan who sees something in Kenny’s proficiency with turntablism to want him to assist with her presentation on break-dancing. 


Wild Style (1983) | Charlie Ahearn



The seminal hip-hop film looks at underground Bronx art culture, including rap, graffiti art, break-dancing (aka b-boying) and DJing (aka turntablism), as we follow the exploits of a graffiti artist named Zoro and his quest to take his art and make it a living.  Charlie Ahearn and Fab 5 Freddy created this film to expose to the world the genuine artistry and talent going on in the South Bronx, with lost of scenes of the authentic underground artists and their phenomenal talents.  Imitated, but never duplicated, WILD STYLE is the grand daddy of all films covering hip-hop.


Xanadu (1980) | Robert Greenwald



The much-maligned 1980 musical gets re-evaluated in this podcast review.  Olivia Newton-John plays a muse who is sent to earth to inspire a struggling artist (Michael Beck) fulfill his dream of starting a roller-disco club with a retired construction magnate (Gene Kelly).  Newton-John and pop group ELO deliver a powerhouse soundtrack in this visually impressive first effort from future political documentarian Robert Greenwald.