THE UPSETTER (2008 US) D/W/P: ETHAN HIGBEE/ADAM BHALA LOUGH
Documentary look at Rainford Hugh Perry aka Leeburn Perry aka Lee "Scratch" Perry, the influential Jamaican music producer responsible for so many cutting edge techniques that changed the music world forever. I have mixed feelings about this film. On the one hand, it's fun to see Perry (a genuine nutter and fashion monster, who loves balancing objects on his head) messing about and expressing his unique opinions, and he certainly does deserve a doc. to himself, but for the uninitiated I fear that some of the bio stuff is lacking (they don't even mention his early dancing career), and there are hardly any attempts to place his career in historical context (great and innovative as many of his records were, he was far from the only groundbreaking producer in 70s Kingston). Other pluses include priceless footage of the Black Ark home studio, Rastas smoking huge ganja pipes and assorted footage of Jamaicans dancing to ska, rocksteady and reggae over the years. Much is said about Bob Marley and the Wailers (including Peter Tosh). Perry calls The Congos "demons in the flesh". I like the fact that dub is represented by the awesome yet relatively obscure Disco Devil version of Max Romeo's classic Chase The Devil rhythm (it's even featured in the trailer). My favourite part has Perry annoying some Canadian guy in a store in San Francisco. Quite good (bur far from perfect) for fans, others beware. Benicio Del Toro provides narration. David Katz (author of the definitive book on Perry, People Funny Boy) was an Associate Producer. Higbee also made BASEDWORLD about Lil' B, and Lough made the graffiti movie BOMB THE SYSTEM, and the Lil' Wayne doc. THE CARTER.

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