Discussion Five asks you to view a film and write in response to it. The title of the film is Style Wars. It is about Graffiti artists in New York City in the 1980’s. Here is an introduction to the film;
When director Tony Silver and co-producer Henry Chalfant delivered the broadcast version of their prize-winning film to PBS in 1983, the world received its first full immersion in the phenomenon that had taken over New York City. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, Style Wars documents hip hop culture, with an emphasis on graffiti, with B-boying and rapping covered as well. This film highlights the urban landscape as physically transformed by graffiti artists who invented a new visual language to express both their individuality, and the voice of their community. In Style Wars, New York’s ramshackle subway system is their public playground, battleground, and spectacular artistic canvas. As MC’s, DJ’s, and B-boys rock the city with new sounds and new moves, we see street corner breakdance battles turn into performance art. Musicians, designers, and those interested in urban culture will love this film!
In Style Wars there are several conflicts between New Yorkers. Take TWO conflicts you see in that film. Consider these questions about each one of these conflicts: who is the conflict between? What is the reason for the conflict? What does each side believe about its own point of view? Does the conflict get resolved in this film? How?
Now consider yourself. Which side of the conflict do you sympathize with more? Explain why. What are your thoughts about how this conflict actually gets resolved? Or if there is no resolution in the film, what are your thoughts about how this conflict might get resolved? Explain why.
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