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Dave Chappelle’s Block Party

Posted by martinteller on October 21, 2011

A simple concept but a good one: plan a concert with your favorite musicians and pass out free tickets to random people on the street.  Like a 21st century Woodstock, the footage cuts between the performers, backstage banter, the organization of the event, people in the crowd, and interesting characters along the way (like the strange couple with the strange house that the show is right in front of).  The looseness of the editing lends to the party atmosphere, and there’s a nice inclusive spirit to the proceedings.  I’m woefully out of touch with music of the past 10 years, but I had at least a passing familiarity with most of the acts.  However, I was most impressed with one I’d never heard of: Dead Prez, a politically-minded hip-hop duo with electrifying lyrics, music and performance skills.  I’ll definitely be checking out more of them.  But all the music is really good (well, I wasn’t too crazy about Jill Scott).  What the film could have used is a little more Chappelle, a fantastic comedian peeking his head out from an extended bout of self-imposed obscurity after achieving massive popularity with his hilarious sketch show.  Considering his name’s in the title, I had hoped he would be a bit more present, but what we do see and hear of him is gold, just a naturally funny, easy-going and warm-hearted guy.  Rating: Very Good


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