The Provocative Artist's One-of-a-Kind Birthday Wish for the Queen of Pop
A Bespoke Edit of Emily Kai Bock's Cutting-Edge Documentary on NYC’s Rap Underground
Mykki Blanco, Angel Haze and C.J. Fly hold forth in this exclusive edit of filmmaker Emily Kai Bock’s new documentary on New York’s underground rap scene, Spit Gold Under An Empire. “So many people there are really pushing the form,” she says of the city's hip-hop avant-garde. “It’s the most interesting and authentic thing going on.” Filmed largely in Brooklyn, the movement’s epicenter provided its own backbeat. “When you’re there, you can hear people in the apartments above and below you, people yelling on the street and car radios going by—it’s like a backing track, and if you’re raised there, it’s in your blood,” says Bock, a rising Montreal-based director with a fine art background who hit the ground running on the music scene with her stunning video for Grimes’ “Oblivion,” which became an overnight sensation. Produced by Somesuch & Co. and set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this week alongside efforts from independent directors Abteen Bagheri, Bob Harlow and Tyrone Lebon, the short is part of a series exploring the musical lives of American cities including the New Orleans bounce craze, shoegaze in Portland and Detroit’s warehouse scene.
Click here to view Spit Gold Under an Empire in full, alongside other works in the New American Noise documentary project, from January 19.
The Artist and Filmmaker’s Dark Parable On the Shame of Sex Addiction
Cornered in his hotel room during the Toronto Film Festival, the ever-provocative Steve McQueen ruminates on free will, desire and his upcoming film Shame in Alison Chernick’s latest short. Recipient of the Camera d’Or and Fipresco prize for debut feature Hunger, McQueen has earned a reputation as one of our most prolific and challenging visual artists, winning The Turner Prize in 1999 for his short black and white film Deadpan, and representing Britain at the 2009 Venice Biennale. Co-written with Abi Morgan (Brick Lane), the director’s sophomore feature takes an unflinching look at the destructive nature of sex addiction, following Michael Fassbender’s corporate drone Brandon through a solitary routine of meaningless sexual encounters and the fallout that occurs when his equally damaged, self-harming sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) comes to stay. “I wanted to discuss the theme of imprisonment in his films—in this case psychological," reveals Chernick. "But after seeing Shame I was more focused on the collide between morality and addiction, where one ends and the other begins.”