Rize (film)

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Rize poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by David LaChapelle
Starring Lil' C
Tommy the Clown
Miss Prissy
Music by Amy Marie Beauchamp
Jose Cancela
Release dates
  • 2005 (2005)
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $4,646,889

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, Stavros 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.[1] 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.


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