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Starting Today at BAM: Hype Williams’ ‘Belly’ and The SOURCE 360

Starting Today at BAM: Hype Williams’ 'Belly' and The SOURCE 360

Critics Nick Pinkerton and Nicolas Rapold have a series they program at various repertory movie theaters

called “Overdue” which takes a look at movies that haven’t received the praise they deserve, or have

been overlooked in general. One of the films they’ve chosen, which happens to be screening today at

7, is Hype Williams’ directorial debut (and only feature-film to date) “Belly.”

I would describe it, but the

BAM website has already done a great job explaining why this shouldn’t be missed: “Fuck a book,” says star DMX, and indeed this is post-verbal filmmaking, with vital plot points rendered

in Jamaican patois. Belly opens with a blacklight nightclub stickup set to a capella vocal gymnastics, and

director Hype Williams (auteur of shiny-suit era Bad Boy music videos) doesn’t allow a routine frame

past the velvet rope in his sui generis, Alizé-and-mushrooms swirl of millennial Manhattan and dancehall

reggae.”

Honestly, the opening sequence alone is reason enough to see this movie in a theater, especially when

it’s being shown in 35mm. “Belly” has been undervalued for a while, and I think this tends to happen

a lot with movies where it’s easy to write them off upon release as focusing too much on “style over

substance.” Cinema is a visual language, so someone’s visual style can obviously say a great deal. “Belly”

is really about the thrill of individual moments, and that’s almost exactly what the characters themselves

are seeking (primarily DMX’s wild card Tommy character).

More info: http://www.bam.org/film/2014/belly

Also starting at BAM on Friday is The SOURCE 360, which the BAM website describes as: “For 25 years, The Source has been at the forefront of hip-hop culture, chronicling its music, style,

personalities, and politics. BAMcinématek salutes the pioneering publication with a series of films

featuring now-legendary artists who were first championed in the pages of The Source.”

The series includes screenings of “Nas: Time is Illmatic” and “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party” among

others.

More info: http://www.bam.org/film/2014/the-source-360

and

http://www.thesource360.com/

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