The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

STYLE WARS (1984) **

My wife got this flick off of Netflix.  When I saw the title, I thought it was going to be some sort of Project Runway shit.  As it turns out it’s actually an OK PBS documentary about graffiti artists, rappers, and breakdancers in New York City in the 80’s.


I wanted to like this flick because it was a good time capsule of the breakdancing era.  Sadly though, not much screen time is given to the breakdancers as the graffiti dudes get most of the spotlight.  Graffiti “tagging” or “bombing” is something I just never understood.  What’s so great about stealing spray paint from K-Mart and doodling on a wall?  As far as I’m concerned, you should be locked up for petty theft and defacing public property.  I think it’s kind of funny how this flick tries to glorify the graffiti taggers and legitimatize their vandalism as an “art form”.  Having said that, I did like the part where they talked to TAKI 183, the guy who inspired the movie Turk 182!  There’s also a great scene where a one-armed graffiti artist admires the poster for Beastmaster too.


Given my feelings on the subject matter, it’s no surprise that my favorite parts of the film had to do with the angry citizens complaining about all the vandalism.  The funniest dude is Mayor Ed Koch.  He’s not as good as he was on The People’s Court, but he does get some funny jabs at the graffiti taggers’ expense.


I think if Style Wars spent as much time on the breakdancing and rapping as it did the graffiti shit, I would’ve liked it a lot better.  Then again, maybe not.  If you’re a vandal that just got out of Juvee Hall for defacing a subway car, you might not feel the same way though.

Tags: documentary, s
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