7.9/10
2,506
18 user 26 critic

Scratch (2001)

A feature-length documentary film about hip-hop DJing, otherwise known as turntablism. From the South Bronx in the 1970s to San Francisco now, the world's best scratchers, beat-diggers, ... See full summary »

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Chali 2na ...
Himself - Jurassic 5 (as Chali 2NA)
Marc 7 ...
Himself - Jurassic 5
Afra ...
Himself
Carlos Aguilar ...
Himself (as DJ Quest)
Akil ...
Himself - Jurassic 5
The Allies ...
Themselves
Almighty K.G. ...
Himself
...
Herself (as DJ Shortee)
Dread Archie Jr. ...
Himself (as D.O.A.)
Babu ...
Himself - Dilated Peoples / Beat Junkies (as DJ Babu)
...
Himself
The Beat Junkies ...
Themselves (as Beat Junkies)
Jon Bernson ...
Himself
John Carluccio ...
Himself - Director
Cut Chemist ...
Himself - Jurassic 5
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Storyline

A feature-length documentary film about hip-hop DJing, otherwise known as turntablism. From the South Bronx in the 1970s to San Francisco now, the world's best scratchers, beat-diggers, party-rockers, and producers wax poetic on beats, breaks, battles, and the infinite possibilities of vinyl. Written by Doug Pray

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hip hop | turntable | rap | d.j. | See All (4) »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 November 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Ди-Джей  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

To create the "scratched" sequences in the film (where a person during an interview suddenly speaks as if the film itself is being scratched), director Doug Pray sent audio clips which had been recorded onto vinyl to DJ Q-bert, who scratched them, and sent the recordings back to Pray. Pray then edited the interviews to match the scratched sound. See more »

Crazy Credits

Apologies and respect to the many great DJ's and others who we were unable to be included in this film. See more »

Connections

Features Wild Style (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Get Down
Performed by LL Cool J
Written by LL Cool J (as James Smith), Robert Ervin, Darryl Pierce, Dwayne Emil Simon
Courtesy of Def Jam Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

Shows rather than informs, but works very well
26 January 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I'm sort of target audience for this documentary film and I was looking forward to it as I knew a good handful of the names listed as involved but at the same time my knowledge of the subject only goes as far as "I know what I like and I like this", rather than some encyclopedia of names and dates. As such I was looking forward to the film filling me in with this a bit – which is good because this is what it does, a bit.

I say a bit because the 90 minute film is not really a documentary in the sense that it is totally fact based and all about informing – it is not. It does still have talking heads, a timeline and a structured way of looking at the subject in chapters of a sort, but it didn't actually inform too much beyond the basics. This will limit the appeal of the film a little bit as those that know their stuff in this regard may take exception at some of the people not included in the film and also some of the things stated as facts to do with origins etc. What the film does do well though is to try and translate why the viewer should care about this subject and to a point the film seems designed to make some inroads into the view that scratching is just noise, that it isn't music and doesn't "count" (whatever that means) and that it isn't worth their time. It does this by having a lot of footage from live events and contests which really capture the talent of those involved and show how it works in reality.

This footage is mostly very good with plenty to be impressed by and the film constructs around them using talking heads in the normal fashion. These interviews are not the most informative but people speak with passion and are natural in a way that helps. I also liked that the film was able to show the multi-cultural and multi-racial nature of the scene, rather than just saying it. The direction is good and the film is edited together well with good pace and scene selection – the visual scratching thing didn't do much for me personally, but it wasn't overly used.

Scratch isn't a great documentary in the traditional sense, but it works very well with the subject using the interviews to explain and structure while using live footage to show (not just say) why this is something that deserves your attention.


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