Joe Klymkiw’s Hip Hop Eh
You know what they say about beggars and choosers, right? That maxim applies quite well to Joe Klymkiw's Hip Hop Eh, a documentary about Canadian hip-hop opening today for a limited run at the Big Picture Cinema in Leslieville. (You know, the little neighbourhood screen that used to be the Projection Booth East.)
To the best of my knowledge, no one's ever tried to assemble a comprehensive documentary about the evolution of hip-hop in Canada, so Klymkiw's efforts are greatly appreciated. He's interviewed dozens of artists representing two decades of music - everyone from Maestro Fresh Wes to Kardinal Offishall to Cadence Weapon to Buck 65 - and organized those interviews into segments that each address specific questions.
The downside is that nearly all of those interviews were conducted on the fly - backstage at concerts or awards shows, from the looks of it - and the footage and sound are not what you'd call "polished". (Much of it appears to have been shot on 4:3 video which was then stretched to fill the 16:9 HD frame, which gets really irritating after a while.) The sound quality's often less than great, too; I have no idea how this will play in a theatre auditorium.
Questionable presentation aside, Klymkiw asks good questions and gets some interesting answers. Certainly, if you want to see Buck 65 talk about the internet's instantaneous accessibility destroying the concept of a musical underground, this is where you'll see it. And if you catch the screenings tonight, Saturday or Monday, be sure to stick around for Klymkiw's post-screening Skype Q&As.
Spring Break may be winding down, but the Lightbox will be filled to bursting this weekend - and not just because the programming slate is particularly strong. Saturday and Sunday, admission to all screenings is free of charge under Bell's Free Weekend promotion. Not just the family stuff, but the first-run engagements of Leviathan, Amour and Neighboring Sounds, the magnificent 70mm presentations of Vertigo and 2001: A Space Odyssey and everything else on the marquee.
Here's Saturday's full schedule, and here's Sunday's. Doors open at 11 am both days; admission is first come, first served. And if the movie you want to see sells out before you can get a ticket, let the nice people at the ticket counter suggest something else. Maybe you'll enjoy it.
Well, not Amour. Nobody enjoys Amour. But it is terrific.