|Directed by||David LaChapelle|
Tommy the Clown
|Music by||Amy Marie Beauchamp
Rize is an American documentary movie starring Lil' C, Tommy Johnson, also known as Tommy the Clown, and Miss Prissy. The documentary exposes the new dance form known as krumping which originated in the early 1990s in Los Angeles. The film was written and directed by David LaChapelle. Working alongside LaChapelle were executive producers, Ishbel Whitaker, Barry Peele, Ellen Jacobson-Clarke, Starvos Merjos, and Rebecca Skinner. Rize was produced by Lions Gate Entertainment and released in January 2005, grossing $3.3 million at the box office.
Rize is a documentary following an interview schedule of two related dancing subcultures of Los Angeles: clowning and krumping. The documentary is divided into three distinct sections. The first series of interviews introduces and develops the clowning dance style. The second series explains how the dance style, krumping, evolved from the original clowning and matured into its own identity. The third section of the film depicts a dance battle called The Battle Zone which takes place between clowns and krumpers at the Great Western Forum in 2004. The film style and soundtrack draws creative ties between African dance and developing style of krump. An atypical sequence in the film uses montage to compare 1940s era anthropological films of African dance ritual with contemporary clowning and krumping dance maneuvers.
Rize received positive reviews from critics, garnering a high rating of 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. Most of the critiques were positive and pointed out the beneficial impact that the exposure the film provided would have on the dance form and the people involved. They commented on LaChapelle's ability to capture the dance in such visually brilliant and dynamic way and compare the dance's parallels with African roots. Most of the negative critiques noted that LaChapelle seemed to have glossed over issues of urban unrest, sexuality, and violence, instead of making them a focal point of the film. The general consensus of negative critics was that the film was carried by its Hollywood glam instead of delving deeply into the harsh realities of life in the ghettos of Los Angeles.
- Lil' C : himself
- Tommy the Clown : himself
- Dragon (now called Slayer): himself
- Ceasare "Tight Eyez" Willis : himself
- La Niña : herself
- Miss Prissy : herself
- Wild Boi : himself
- Larry : himself
- Lil' Mama : herself (not to be confused with the rapper Lil' Mama)
- Big Mijo : himself
- Baby Tight Eyez : Christian Jones
- Daisy : herself
- Lil Tommy the Clown (Shannon Hill) : himself
- IMDB Movie Database
- LaChapelle official site
- Lions Gate Films official site
- Entertainment Weekly Film Review
- Slant Magazine Film Review
- Rotten Tomatoes Review Aggregator
- The Spirit's Dance in Africa by ED Esther A. Dagan. Galerie Amrad African Arts Publications 1997.
- Rodney King Rebellion by Brenda Wall. African American Images: Chicago, IL 1992.
- Radical L.A. by Errol Wayne Stevens. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press 2009.