Mirrorball / UK premiere

The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry

  • Ethan Higbee, Adam Bhala Lough /
  • United States of America /
  • 2008 /
  • 90 mins

Documentary / Jamaican English

Agitator. Innovator. Genius. Bear witness to the legend that is Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.

?When Rainford Hugh Perry was just a young man, a poor country boy who’d come to work the mines in Negril, he heard something in the way the rock vibrated when it hit the metal of the hammer. “Like thunder,” he says – a beautiful thing. So enamoured by that sound was he that it became the inspiration which has led him down an incredible – though at times utterly dark – spiritual and creative musical path. Going to work as a handyman in several recording studios, he soon rose through the ranks to become Lee “Scratch” Perry, aka The Upsetter, the name he adopted in 1968. He was one of the most sought after music producers in Jamaica, serving as a mentor to the young Bob Marley before crossing genre boundaries to work with artists such as The Clash and the Beastie Boys. Never one to be caged by the confines of existing popular music, Perry at his creative 1970s peak was one of a few vital pioneers of an entirely new sound: a genetic mutation of reggae, christened dub, which took the reggae’s rhythms and melodies back to a womb-like echo chamber. Unsurprisingly, with such burgeoning creativity came trouble. It seemed everyone wanted a piece of Lee’s success (read: money). His anxiety regarding the unwanted pressures of fame saw him smoking copious amounts of marijuana, which, in turn, only upped his paranoia to uncharted levels – so much so that he famously burned down his own creation, Black Ark Studios, the heart and soul of his peak music-making period. In The Upsetter – an unprecedented feature length documentary which venerates the life and times of a man once called “the Salvador Dali of reggae” – filmmakers Ethan Higbee and Adam Bhala Lough invite audiences to bear witness to an innovator, agitator, madman, genius. Through brilliant archive footage and exclusive interviews – not to mention some fine dub riddims – the film offers both admirable contextual insight and solid testament to a true musical auteur.

Screening with:

Made In Queens

  • Nicolas Randall, Joe Stevens /
  • United States of America /
  • 2008 /
  • 10 mins

Made In Queens is a documentary celebrating the teenagers behind the unlikely, and sometimes hilarious marriage of BMX bicycle and ridiculously loud bass.

Nicolas Randall and Joe Stevens are London/NYC based directors with backgrounds in commercials, music video and still photography. Nicolas Randall directed the award-winning short film All He Needs. Joe Stevens is currently in production on a pilot for MTV. The team is also in development on their first feature.

Cast: Nicholas Ragbir, Amar Samaroo, Travis Bhimraj, Anil Bhimraj, Jessica Ragbir

Directors: Nicolas Randall and Joe Stevens
Producer: Sean Linehan
Editor: Crandall Miller
D.O.P.: Nick Robespierre


For more information regarding MADE IN QUEENS, to speak with the Directors or to request a screener, please email info@randallstevensusa.com

www.madeinqueensfilm.com

Made In Queens is a documentary celebrating the teenagers behind the unlikely, and sometimes hilarious marriage of BMX bicycle and ridiculously loud bass.


 

Directors: Nicolas Randall, Joe Stevens
Producer: Sean Linehan
Editor: Crandall Miller
Sound Production: Ian Gelfand, Jon Tropea, Paul Goldman

2008 Archive

Image from The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry

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