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Rize 2005 PG-13 CC

4.6 out of 5 stars (81) IMDb 7.1/10

RIZE chronicles a dance movement that rises out of South Central Los Angeles with roots in clowning and street youth culture.

Starring:
Larry Berry, Tommy the Clown
Runtime:
1 hour, 27 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Music, Documentary
Director David LaChapelle
Starring Larry Berry, Tommy the Clown
Supporting actors Dragon, La Niña, Miss Prissy, Kevin Scott Richardson, Christopher Toler, Ceasare Willis
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

This movie may be about the urban phenomenon of krump and clown dancing but it is truly about so much more. The opening scene is old footage of the Watts riots and this theme of the cultural and social background of the kids that participate in this new art form is the thread that holds this movie together. Lachapelle is an amazing photographer and he brings his keen eye to the screen. This is a visually stunning movie without a doubt. But he brings his sensitivity to the social issues as well. He lets the kids and the community speak for themselves. It is often sad enough to get you crying but never despairing. There is such passion and self-awareness in these kids and in their dancing. The movements alone can elicit tears, and awe. There is a disclaimer at the start of the film stating the film was not sped up at any point. It is an important thing to state because you cannot believe how these dancers move themselves. Kids as young as 4 and 5, people in all shapes and sizes, all expressing their passion, anger, love, pain, humour with their bodies. Lachapelle makes sure to make all the links for you, from revival gospel links to African ritual dance, as well as the urgency this new subculture has driving it. It is plainly stated that these clown and krump crews have taken the place of gangs for many of the people involved and turned into non-violent gangs of their own. But it is also understood by the audience, the director and the people themselves that what they are now embracing has none of the violence or destructiveness that the gang life held for them. This is a changing movie, capable of true connection to any audience member.Read more ›
1 Comment 30 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
OK, much as my brother Jeffrey Mingo deserves props for his reviewing skills, I have to disagree with some of the praise heaped upon RIZE.

Now, don't get me wrong. The parts of the video that concentrated on the dancers were great. I particularly liked the way that Dragon, Lil C, Miss Prissy and Tommy the Klown got a bit of screen time to tell PARTS OF their stories.

The dancing itself was great too. No, make that totally awe-inspiring. I have no problem with that either.

My problems come from looking at the way David La Chapelle treated his young black subjects.

Too often, we applaud ANY representations of black youth that are in ANY way positive. But the problem here is that La Chapelle repeats a common trope among white middle class culture vultures (and I use that word deliberately): he reduces young urban working class "minority" kids to spectacle and surface.

The only person in the film able to break through that framing was Marquisa Gardner (Miss Prissy) who was able to convey a much more nuanced picture of some of the challenges and glories of her life despite La Chapelle's trite underlining of the "life in the ghetto is hell" motif. Ms Gardner's humanity shines through because of her personal charisma and talent at talking to the camera, rather than any empathy or delicacy on La Chapelle's part.

La Chapelle also repeats the old saw that the "cool" way to succeed is to be part of the entertainment industry. This is perhaps a highly-visible attitude amongst youngsters but it's a totally wasted opportunity to showcase a way of using dance as a way to rize in a more than simply metaphorical sense.
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7 Comments 69 of 85 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Rize is a wonderful great movie that is worth checking out and i like that it talks about the black youth of LA!!!!!!! When you see this movie you will feel the energy of it and you will also feel the passion too!!!!!!! It has its touching moments with each person and what they have experienced in their lives and i love the dancing and i also love that these people take this dance and use it for angry instead of using a gun or a fist!!!!!!! This movie is worth seeing and then after you see it you will want to put this brillant film in your movie collection!!!!!!!
Comment 8 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By TRCK on November 4, 2005
Format: DVD
I see this movie as a renewal of community by a younger generation who, in many instances, have been abandoned by their elders. Krumping is not pretty, really, and it's sexually suggestive, most "good christians" would not approve of some of the dancing, but ironically these kids are reinforcing a sense of morality and purpose among themselves. They shun the destructiveness of gang life and gang violence. Instead, they are creating. One dancer insisted, "this is not a trend". LaChappelle was right to include footage of African tribal dancing, which is, all at the same time, a form of religious worship, showing off and community building. These kids are wise (OK, "wize") and compelling.
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This was one of the best responses to the oppression that African-Americans feel in this country, that I have ever seen. I was blown away by the energy and the dedication to this expression. It made me see gang-bangin', killin', drug dealin' and abuse that goes on in the inner-cities totally different. I see them now as an expression and a reaction to that oppression. Not just crazy, senseless activity. I feel for those who can only use violence as a way to respond to what we have endured and still endure in this country. And I applaud and marvel at those who are able to dance their way out of it. I am thankful for this movie and the opportunity it has given me to see people differently.
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