Like Perry Henzell’s ‘The Harder They Come’ before it, ‘Wild Style’ has all the surface-level trademarks of A Bad Film: wooden acting, sloppy camerawork, abrasive, boggy sound – all of which conceal the scuzzy charm at its core. Zoro (played by real-life street artist and ‘Banksy of the Bronx’, Lee Quinones) has a roughly hewn tale of social upheaval pinned to his back as an excuse for the cameras to track him through the South Bronx and soak up the oceans of local colour. Capturing a time and place when all you needed for entertainment was some Cold Crush Brothers on your over-sized ghettoblaster and a wedge of cardboard upon which to breakdance, ‘Wild Style’ takes in basketball court rumpuses which meld into hip-hop street theatre, late-night train yard break-ins and, for its finale, a huge local concert. Mixing early-’80s nostalgia with mild social anthropology, the film successfully crystallises the optimism and vivacity of the early New York hip hop scene and suggests that film and TV portrayals of the Bronx as a savage and inhospitable hellhole were perhaps greatly misjudged.
Friday August 10 2007
Cast and crew
'Lee' George Quinones Sandra 'Pink' Fabara Frederick Brathwaite Patti Astor Zephyr Busy Bee