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Bach Movies



Black and White








Film: Apr 2000
DVD: Sep 2000
VHS: Feb 2001
Video Download: Jul 2007
Soundtrack: Mar 2000


James Toback


James Toback


Scott Caan (Scotty); Robert Downey Jr. (Terry Donager); Stacy Edwards (Sheila King); Allan Houston (Dean Carter); Gaby Hoffmann (Raven); Kidada Jones (Jesse); Jared Leto (Casey); Marla Maples (Muffy); Joe Pantoliano (Bill King); Bijou Phillips (Charlie); Oliver 'Power' Grant (Rich Bower - as Power); Raekwon (Cigar); Claudia Schiffer (Greta); William Lee Scott (Will King); Brooke Shields (Sam Donager)


Set in New York City, Black and White features several losely related stories centering on a pair of documentary filmmakers, Sam and her husband Terry, in following a group of caucasian teens, Raven, Charlie, Will, Marty, Wren and others who try to fit in with Harlem's black hip-hop crowd who include gangster rapper Rich Bower and his music partner Cigar in landing a recording gig, as well as college basketball player Dean who is conflicted on taking a fall on a game for shady gambler Mark Clear who has hidden agenda for Dean and Rich. (pataygs)

Hip-hop culture in New York City attracts White kids from privilege and young Black men moving from crime to the recording studio. For the White kids, it's a fad they throw themselves into: the girls into sex and at least one boy into violence. For the Black men, there's expression and, perhaps, fame. Looking on, besides a gambler turned cop, is a wealthy couple: she's making a documentary of White kids attracted to Black pop culture, he's cruising for men. The cop, who's motive is unclear, sets up a college athlete to throw a game then puts on the squeeze. A very blond grad student moves from Black man to Black man. A D.A. worries about his career and his son. It's a mix. (J. Hailey)

James Toback's portrait of white and black culture mixing it up on the streets of Manhattan is like two films colliding. In the center of the swirl are a group of upper-class white teens (led by Elijah Wood and pop singer Bijou Phillips) who appropriate hip-hop culture to rebel against their affluent lifestyle, and a posse of gangstas and drug dealers (led by rap producer Oli "Power" Grant) who are themselves trying to get off the streets and into the business culture through their music. Aging indie filmmaker Toback has long shown an interest in character contradictions and quirks. Here the dynamic works: The two groups are genuinely curious about one another and mix with a cautious but untroubled ease. Less successful is the contrived drama that orbits this cultural mix but never quite meshes--such as Ben Stiller as a self-loathing New York cop who blackmails college basketball star Allan Houston into betraying his boyhood buddy turned street criminal.
Toback spices his Altmanesque style of restless camera work and impressionistic intercutting with attitude, nervous energy, and in-your-face sex. There's an interesting story to be told here, but the provocative cultural mix gets lost in the self-conscious melodrama and only periodically roars to life, notably in the edgy, unpredictable scenes with Mike Tyson (an inspired bit of casting that works marvelously). Also featured are rapper Raekwon, supermodel Claudia Schiffer, Brooke Shields, and Robert Downey Jr. (Sean Axmaker,




98 min (Film, Video Download) / 99 min (VHS) / 100 min (DVD)

J.S. Bach's Music:

Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047
Karl Münchinger (?) / Stuttgarter Kammerorchester


Film: Color, SDDS / Dolby Digital
DVD: See below.
VHS: See below.
Video Download
Soundtrack: CD


Film: Bigel / Mailer Films; Palm Pictures
DVD: Sony Pictures
VHS: Sony Pictures
Video Download: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Soundtrack: Sony [CD]


Watch selections:

Buy movie at:

DVD: [Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC, Region 1]
VHS: [Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC] | [Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Spanish]
Video Download: [Buy]
Soundtrack: [CD]


Source/Links: IMDB
Contributor: Aryeh Oron (November 2007)

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Last update: żNovember 29, 2007 ż03:08:34