Friday, September 14, 2007

80 Blocks From Tiffany's (1979)

Brother Tallness had sent me a link to a blog post containing the videos below a minute ago. At the time, the video took forever to play so I just stored the link in an e-mail message in my draft inbox under the subject line "for future viewing." I'm glad I finally came back to it, because it's a true gem.

A lot has changed in the South Bronx, but a lot has also remained the same. The videos are powerful and in the interest of getting to the point I'll draw from the summary of the blogger that initially posted all the video's in succession, much like they are below.
Directed by Gary Weis (bka “The Poor Man’s Albert Brooks”), 80 Blocks… is a relatively unbiased document of Bronx gangs the Savage Skulls and Savage Nomads in the late 70s and, by extension, also serves as glance at in the womb old school hip hop. Rarely seen outside of third generation bootlegs (and a few of those that did see it missed the point entirely), the film has been liberated at last by/for the Youtube generation. Needless to say, it is required viewing, so get your finger out your booty and press play.
Hope everyone has a blessed weekend. And a big shout out to Tallness for sending this to a brotha!








4 comments:

Brother Spotless said...

While I'm not from the Bronx, I do spend my current days in Newark. I can say with confidence that as much as times change, occurances stay the same...

Anonymous said...

Why don't you get Gary Weis to come to your college
and talk about 80 Blocks from Tiffany. and the SNL
films etc
you'll get him at garyweis@garyweis.com

Mitchell said...

Controlled chaos. Was there direction to the mischief? Are people more 'bad' now because as time goes by our viewfinder nostalgia-fies, or did there seem to be a purpose that has eroded with our consumption?

Brother Spotless said...

It does seem as though there was a method to the madness back then, perhaps even a specific purpose. I guess it is important to note that the video takes place mere years after the extinguishing of the Black Panthers, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and other purposeful black leaders and leadership organizations. Today, we are so far removed from those influences that we only speak their words and view their actions in memory, rather than as truth.

Deciding whether gang activity back then was more or less "bad" than it is today is like attempting to figure out which running back was better between Barry Sanders and Gayle Sayers: you can't do it because they played under different rules. If there is a lesson to be taken, at least a small part of it ought to be that we must understand the new rules of the game if we are to correctly play, let alone win...