(Various / Blu ray / NR / 2014 / MVD Visual)
Overview: When director Tony Silver and co-producer Henry Chalfant delivered the broadcast version of their prize-winning film to PBS in 1983, the world received its first full immersion in the phenomenon that had taken over New York City. The urban landscape was physically transformed by graffiti artists who invented a new visual language to express both their individuality, and the voice of their community.
Blu ray Verdict: If you were not tuned into the TV in 1983, or perhaps you only thought your TV showed MTV, this documentary on subway graffiti in New York City in the early 1980's is something that you need to sit down and immerse yourself within. In truth, 'Style Wars' had it all: it was beautifully shot, had a great soundtrack, and captured the essence of what was going on in the city after the 70's - and under the regime of Mayor Kotch.
With the destination, the arena in which to "perform" in 'Style Wars' being NYC's ramshackle subway system, the characters shown here are real life ones. Never forgot that, for their battleground may well be where they met toe-to-toe, but it only proved to be the source of their spectacular artistic canvas.
As MC's, DJ's and B-boys rock the city with new sounds and new moves, we see street corner breakdance battles turn into performance art before our very eyes. As for the graffiti itself, well, the best thing about this documentary is how it can be studied on so many levels. Indeed, it makes you realize why "bombing" is done and what it accomplishes. It helps you understand the psychological reasoning behind it, and how it plays on human character traits such as territorial rights, pursuit and the need for recognition.
As you would only hope, 'Style Wars' shows how graffiti had a strong impact on society, and how it tore some homes apart. A must see- plus a great representation of early hip hop music and style. This is a rare glimpse at the process of telling a real story as it's happening, and if you want further incentive to buy this Blu ray, well, Brad Pitt, James Franco, and Flea have all made donations to help the film get restored!
Featuring a brand new HD transfer from the original 16mm print, this video features over 70 minutes of never before seen extras. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Bonus Material of:
The Outtakes and The B-Boy Showcase, made from unreleased footage, remastered with the help of donations from Kickstarter, also in HD.
Style Wars: In The Cutting Room, a behind the scene look at the making of the film during the final stages of the editing process.