Style Wars

Look what we found...the groundbreaking documentary Style Wars needs your help!

Style Wars has a fundraising campaign, you can donate to and track online, that benefits the restoration of the original 16mm negative.  Style Wars screened at the 1984 United States Film and Video Festival and won the Documentary Grand Jury Prize.

Here is the 1984 Festival catalog caption:

Style Wars is the first full-length documentary film to explore in depth New York City’s world of graffiti artists.  The film depicts teenagers who risk jail and injury to paint their names in giant supergraphic murals on subway cars and city walls in a fierce quest for fame, glory and artistic excellence.  Around this activity they’ve developed a potent, new urban culture whose message is:  “I’m the greatest!” It’s message is expressed not only in graffiti’s written word, but in the spoken/chanted word of “rap” music, in the competitive “throwdown” of the acrobatic dance called “breaking”, and in the eloquent mime-like movements of “electric boogie”.  In the words of graffitist/rap musician J. Walter Negro, they are “the art forms of the new urban tribes:”.  The kids call them ‘hip-hop”, and right now they’re rapidly moving from the streets and subways into the at galleries and disco clubs of New York, London, Rome, Paris, Amsterdam and Geneva.

Style Wars is one of the most energetic documents in recent memory.  It is a comprehensive document of one of the more significant cultural movements of our time.  It is extraordinary entertainment, a traveling kaleidoscope of art, music and dance.”

Lead photo: