Style Wars

Director: Tony Silver Run Time: 102 min. Format: DCP Rating: NR Release Year: 1983

Style Wars is regarded as the indispensable document of New York Street culture of the early ’80s, the filmic record of a golden age of youthful creativity that exploded into the world from a city in crisis. It captured the look and feel of New York’s ramshackle subway system as graffiti writers’ public playground, battleground and spectacular artistic canvas. Opposing them by every means possible were Mayor Edward Koch, the police, and the New York Transit Authority. Meanwhile MCs, DJs and B-boys rocked the city with new sounds and new moves and street corner breakdance battles evolved into performance art.

New York’s legendary kings of graffiti and b-boys own a special place in the hip hop pantheon. Style Wars has become an emblem of the original, embracing spirit of hip hop as it reached out across the world from underground tunnels, uptown streets, clubs and playgrounds.

Following Style Wars, we’ll be screening Style Wars Revisited from 2003:
Style Wars Revisited picks up where the documentary film classic Style Wars left off twenty years prior. This time, Henry Chalfaunt and Tony Silver enlist filmmaker Joey Garfield to join in tracking down and interviewing the now infamous crew of graffiti writers to see how they have progressed as individuals, artists and representatives of the burgeoning Hip Hop culture. A must see addition to the original.

Trailer