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Saturday, October 13

Featuring DJ Jazzy Jay, Kool Herc, Grandmaster Melle Mel and Rae Dawn Chong
Introduced by Arthur Baker and Michael Holman

(1984, Stan Lathan) Produced by Harry Belafonte and starring Rae Dawn (daughter of Tommy) Chong, Beat Street was Hollywood’s first foray into “The Music and Break Dance Explosion!” but A) was beat by a month by its West Coast counterpart Breakin’ and B) its plots and elements were lifted from the year before’s legit indies Wild Style and Style Wars. No matter: its plotline of bringing “street” to upper-crust Juilliard folks aside, this has a bona fide who’s who of early hip hop: Kool Herc as a club owner, Soul Sonic Force with DJ Jazzy Jay performing “Frantic Situation”, Grandmaster Melle Mel and the Furious Five voguing hard, The Treacherous Three “Santa Rapping”, the Rock Steady Crew and the New York City Breakers battling left and right, proto-freestyle duo The Sequence and Brenda K. Starr auditioning at the Roxy and finally, a hard-as-nails electro soundtrack by Arthur Baker (“Breaker’s Revenge”, Freeez’s “I.O.U.”). Plus its widespread European distribution made it the most influential motion picture hip hop ambassador across the Atlantic. 35mm. Approx. 105 min.