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Arnolfini - est 1961

Hosted by Mary McCarthy, Vanguard project director with a Q &A by Charlie Ahearn.

Wild Style, directed by Charlie Ahearn in 1982, was the first hip hop feature film. A semi-fictional account of the life and struggles of graffiti writer Zoro (real-life graffiti writer Lee Quiñones), the film was shot entirely on location in the trainyards, smoky clubs and illegal hip hop jams of early ‘80s New York; the majority of the cast played themselves.

A limited theatrical release brought Wild Style to the Arts Centre Cinema in Bristol in1983 and then again in 1984. The impact on those who saw it, including Nick Walker, Jinx, FLX and Inkie of the Crime Inc crew–who up to that point had had only pieces by 3D and the Z-Boys to emulate–was profound and intoxicating.40years after Charlie Ahearn’s seminal classic Wild Style was filmed, it remains an invaluable insight into the hip hop scene in the boroughs of New York in the early ‘80s.

Its depiction of the dangers and dilemmas faced by graffiti writers learning to juggle the necessary anonymity of outlaw artist status with increasing interest from the art world is both hilarious and poignantly prophetic.

Directed by Charlie Ahearn, Wild Style is regarded as the first hip hop feature film.