Everything's Possible: Dave Chappelle's Block Party
Dave Chappelle became a pop culture phenomenon with his hit Comedy Central program Chappelle's Show, a boundary pushing sketch comedy program that injected some much needed life into the genre's representation on the tube.
With the success of the show, and the record setting sales of Season One on DVD, Chappelle is suddenly worth a small fortune. And what does someone with a $50,000,000 windfall do? Throw a huge block party in Brooklyn with your dream musical lineup and invite your friends out by the thousands.
Michel Gondry's documentary Dave Chappelle's Block Party was screened as a work in progress as part of the TIFF Visa Screening Room lineup at the Elgin Theatre. Gondry, who directed the brilliant Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, also known for his cutting edge music videos, followed Chappelle around as he went back to his Ohio neighbourhood to invite people to the party in Brooklyn, giving a select few "Golden Tickets", which entitled them to a spot on a chartered bus, hotel, and entry to the show. Chappelle managed to assemble a stellar lineup of artists, including Mos Def, Kanye West, Erykah Badu, The Roots, Jill Scott, and Dead Prez.
Chappelle, megaphone in hand, went around Brooklyn inviting people out to his party. No tickets required. No advertising. The result - an unprecedented show in a secret location that ended with the impossible becoming reality - the reunion of The Fugees. Now even those who never liked the trio of Wyclef Jean, Pras and Lauryn Hill can appreciate the magnitude of this musical reunion, and the power that Chappelle must possess in order to have made it happen.
Gondry masterfully captured the event. Concert footage interspersed with Chappelle's trademark humour, his connection with the people he befriends in Brooklyn, and the synergy between the artists as they prepare for the show makes this intriguing documentary a must see.
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