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‘The Upsetter’ documents the totally tripped-out world of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry
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The Upsetter

Directed and produced by Ethan Higbee and Adam Bhala Lough, The Upsetter lets its central character, creative wild man Lee “Scratch” Perry, be his loosey goosey self (as if anybody could stop him) while he takes the viewer on a meandering voyage through his surreal world of tripped-out visions and sublime sonics.

Perry carries the history of reggae in every cell of his body and the glimpses we get of his life, through archival and new footage, is seductive, crazy and jubilant. The mercurial man is as elusive as a stoned butterfly, but in between the patois, jive talk and cosmic gibberish, the light seeps through.

The Upsetter attempts to put Perry into a larger context in terms of reggae’s roots and evolution, but the man is such a force of nature that most everything in the film, other than its subject, is beclouded by the whirlwind of cosmic dust Lee Perry leaves in his wake. As a reggae documentary, the movie is rudimentary. As a glimpse into the mind of Perry, it’s essential and fucking nuts. 

Narrated by Benicio Del Toro.


Parts two, three and four after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Jamdown:  The Holy Grail Of Reggae Films

Jamdown, the holy grail of reggae films is finally coming to DVD.  Other than a screening this past July 17th in London, this French documentary, directed by Emmanuel Bonn, hasn’t been shown theatrically or made available in any form since it was briefly released in France in 1981. Jamdown is essential viewing for anyone who loves reggae

Reggae historian Roger Steffens has described Jamdown as:

[...] a melodic time machine that transports us magically to a time of massive creativity as reggae was emerging to the outside world. We see some of its most rootical exponents at the height of their powers. The film’s re-emergence after three decades is almost miraculous, and it should not be missed by anyone who cares about Jah Music.

The film features some thrilling footage of The Congos and Toots And The Maytals recording at Lee ‘The Upsetter’ Perry’s legendary Black Ark Studios.

The Jamdown DVD hits the streets this Tuesday, July 27.

Watch the trailer for Jamdown after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment