ROCK THE BELLS (Denis Hennelly, Casey Suchan) Rating: NNN
For anyone who's ever wondered how hiphop concerts so often erupt into shouting chaos, Rock The Bells makes a perfect forensic study.
In 2004, promoter Chang Weisberg set out to organize a jam that would climax in a reunion performance by the legendary Wu-Tang Clan. Weisberg mortgages his house, enlists his own family and cajoles ego-tripping rappers and cranky fans as he wrestles the monster concert up onto a stage in San Bernadino, California.
It ain't easy.
Essentially a backstage documentary about the utter insanity of trying to plan anything in an atmosphere of testosterone, cash money and weed, Rock The Bells is packed with inside-hiphop attitude, language and style.
Performances by Redman, Dilated Peoples and eventually the Wu-Tang keep the flow rolling, but it's the absurd comedy that comes from watching Weisberg juggle artists or try to persuade Ol' Dirty Bastard to go onstage for what would be his last Wu-Tang concert that makes this doc worth watching.
(Saturday, July 7, as part of Harbourfront's Breaks, Beats & Culture festival, followed by Alice Klein's Call Of The Hummingbird)