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Style Wars 1983
Description: Some call it tagging, some call it writing, still others call it bombing--it's all graffiti. Whether it's art or not is other matter, but it's undeniably illegal. Tony Silver and Henry Chalfant's historic PBS documentary Style Fights tracks the rise and fall of subway graffiti in Fresh York in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Released: N/A Director: Tony Silver Writers: N/A Actors: Demon, Kase 2, Eric Haze, Spank Genres: Documentary, Music
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See GRAFFITI - Style Wars 1983 on youtube.

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See Style Wars (1983) on youtube.

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See Style Wars Extras (1983) on youtube.

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See STYLE WARS Hip Hop Documentary on youtube.

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See Style Wars 1983 full graffiti on youtube.

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See Style Wars Trailer on youtube.

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See Style Wars CAP Interview on youtube.

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See Style Wars on youtube.

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See Style Wars legendado on youtube.

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See style wars beef on youtube.

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Style Wars Reviews:

It is a shame so several folks have seen the 1982 PBS documentary "Style Wars". It is not listed in either Lenny Maltin's or Videohound's giant books. This storyline of NYC graffiti writers fighting transit cops, their parents, and every another is still the definitive word on graffiti and early hip hop culture in the days before it became commercialized. This was probably the 1st movie anywhere to examine break dancing and hip hop in any depth well before either became mainstream. For that reason alone it is an necessary part of hip hop history, to see what it was all about before corruption by money and fame.Some standout personalities in this movie contain one armed Case, former NYC mayor Ed Koch, graffiti "villan" Cap, and Skeme and his mom. On the 2nd DVD many of the still living graffiti writers are interviewed in 2001, and although Skeme is actually a major in the US army, his (now) tiny old lady mom is still scared someone's child is going to receive harm in the subway tunnel. Some of the children from Style Fights are dead like Shy and Dondi (both have tributes),and some went to prison like Min. Some are successful 40 and even 50 somethings today. One or two even go paint the occasional subway vehicle still.The 1st DVD includes outtakes from Style Wars, some of which should have been removed originally to create the filmmakers look better. The transit authority cop tells he thinks the movie will encourage others to commit vandalism. It is also apparent when watching this DVD that Cap was made out to seem worse than he was thru constructive editing. The 2nd DVD includes a nice short movie from 1976 (I think) named Classic hits by Tracy 168 (from Wild Style).Overall this movie tries to look at graffiti from the perspectives of the writers themselves, citizens of Fresh York, and the establishment. Even the artists saw the end of the golden age coming with barbed wire fences and eventually even dogs being employed to hold them out of the train yards. It's just unfortunate that such an original art form was so unrecognized by mainstream society. Maybe it had to be that method anyway, when the art community did notice and galleries did begin showing the art on canvas, it tended to become fossilized. The stage in the gallery is funny because the artists who are planning to money in on graffiti test to convince themselves that "getting up" can be be done on canvas as well as trains. A young Swedish girl at the art gallery correctly observes its not the same on canvas, that is an art form that belonged on the trains, not on a gallery wall.The definitive ebook to go along with Style fights is "Subway Art" by Henry Chalfant who also produced style Wars. He and Martha Cooper spent a large amount of time photographing NYC subways, and their difficult work is well documented on the 2nd DVD which includes 32 artist galleries and a 30 minute loop of train photos. If all you have ever seen about graffiti is "Wild Style" or "Beat Street", pick up Style Wars. If you can search it. Stylewars.com


Many in the globe of Hip Hop already know this movie in and out. For those with only a passing interest in Hip Hop culture and Graffiti, this movie is a must. Any lover of nice documentary movie making would appreciate Style Wars. Any individual who remembers, or wants to see, what Fresh York Town was like in the 70's and 80's could view this film. There are so many reasons to watch Style Wars. For those of you who have seen the movie on worn out VHS dubs and bootlegs, toss those old copies in the closet or give it to the 10 year old down the block and go out and receive the DVD. The double disc set comes with , no joke, hours of extras. Interviews with the writers as adults, art galleries, outtakes, additional short movies and so much more I can't even receive into. This may be the closest we will receive to a sequel. I was watching the discs for 3 hours last night and didn't receive through everything. Style Fights is a tiny movie worthy of the Large Treatment it has received on DVD from Plexifilm.


This documentary on subway grafitti in Fresh York Town in the early 1980s had it all: it was beautifully shot, had a nice soundtrack, and captured the essence of what was going on in the town after the 70s and under the regime of Mayor Kotch. The greatest thing about this documentary is how it can be studied on so many levels- it makes you realize why "bombing" is done and what it accomplishes. It supports you understand the psychological reasoning behind it, and how it plays on human hero traits such as territorial rights, pursuit and the need for recognition. It shows how graffitti had a powerful impact on society, and how it tore some homes apart. A gotta see- plus a nice representation of early hip hop melody and style. Love those TWAs! (Teeny Weeny Afros!) 9 out of 10.



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