Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That!
B

Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That!

B

Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That!

Director: Nathaniel Hornblower
Runtime: 90 minutes
Cast:

Community Grade (3 Users)

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F

Your Grade

?

Beastie Boys emerged out of New York's hardcore punk scene, and though MCA, Mike D, and Ad-Rock eventually rose to fame as rap's first white superstars, they never wholly abandoned the DIY ethos coursing through punk rock and hip-hop alike. The venerable trio's first concert film, Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That!, is very much rooted in the egalitarian spirit of punk rock in its eagerness to tear down the barriers between fans and musicians, amateurs and professionals. It's also in the playfully postmodern spirit of frequent Beastie Boys collaborator Spike Jonze, who at one point was scheduled to direct a Hard Day's Night-like vehicle for the group.

That film never came to fruition, but Adam Yauch's directorial alter ego Nathaniel Hornblower has concocted a much weirder and adventurous idea for a Beastie Boys movie. Yauch gave about 50 of the group's friends and fans Hi-8 and digital-video cameras and had them shoot a homecoming concert in Madison Square Garden. He then edited together the raucously amateurish, lo-fi footage into Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That!, a one-of-a-kind stylistic experiment that seems likely to enrapture and enrage audiences in equal measure.

A wiggy head film seemingly destined for midnight movie screenings, cult fame, and stoned viewing by the home-video crowd, Awesome is alternately hypnotic and headache-inducing. Some of the best moments come from concertgoers narcissistically turning their cameras on themselves, another subversion of the usual dynamic between fan and musical idol. Sometimes the editing comments irreverently on the concert in particular and concerts in general, as when the group begins an extended funk-instrumental set—as opportune a time to relieve the bladder as any—and the film dutifully follows an amateur cinematographer into the bathroom. Awesome takes huge creative and stylistic risks, immersing audiences weaned on snappy three-minute music videos in the trippy conventions of avant-garde and experimental films. And while those risks sometimes don't pay off, it's nevertheless exciting to see such a huge band working without a net. Awesome seems intent on alienating and annoying a good section of the New York trio's huge and worshipful audience, and its giddy belligerence is very much in keeping with the time-honored, snot-encrusted punk tradition.

Filed Under: Film

More Movie Review