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Maestro (2003)

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Maestro, tells the story of how a group of people found refuge and a call for life outside the mainstream. What evolved was a scene that set the ground work for what was to come in dance ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Larry Levan ...
David Mancuso ...
Frankie Knuckles ...
Nicky Siano ...
Francis Grasso ...
François Kevorkian ...
Himself (as François K.)
Louis Vega ...
Himself (as 'Little' Louie Vega)
Danny Tenaglia ...
Tony Humphries ...
Himself (as John Jellybean Benitez)
Danny Krivit ...
Joaquin Joe Claussell ...
Richard Long ...
Alex Rosner ...


Maestro, tells the story of how a group of people found refuge and a call for life outside the mainstream. What evolved was a scene that set the ground work for what was to come in dance music culture worldwide, a rare insight into the secret underground world. It's the first time this story is told in a motion Picture, included in the film are pioneer dance music DJs and producers, "founding fathers", its center being Larry Levan, as well as high-profile DJs of today. Opting for a more personal and candid approach, MAESTRO shows the true history of the people through a realistic creative aesthetic. Tracing the underground's dance origin, MAESTRO brings out a real understanding of this intense lifestyle, and the lives they lived and died for. Written by Anonymous

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dance club


The movement that became dance music of today





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22 February 2003 (UK)  »

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Highly recommended
7 October 2003 | by (LA) – See all my reviews

Waiting in the bar of the Prince Charles Theatre, Leicester Square, for the premier of Maestro to kick off I was expecting a film about clubbing, the best DJs of our time and why everyone loves to dance until their stomach falls out. What I got was one of the most emotional roller coaster journeys I have ever experienced while watching a film. Trying to describe Maestro, knowing many have not yet seen it, is a daunting task and one that I know will not do justice to the four year long masterpiece that Josell Ramos has created. But I'm gonna try because you guys really need to see this film!

Maestro takes you through a journey of the underground dance movement that started in the 70's. While people were still celebrating disco, one man - Larry Levan - found a sound that gave birth to a new generation. The generation that we now know as clubbing. Larry Levan and David Mancuso started the phenomenon that became the underground scene at NYC's Paradise Garage and The Loft. David and Larry were brothers in the making of a scene and sound that was to exist forever.

All the way through the film, people - now in their 40s and 50s - talk about the effect Larry Levan has had on their life. Sitting here, writing this review, he's affected me in the same way even though he's been dead for over twenty years. The regulars at both The Loft and The Garage found that this man gave them something that no other person could have - an identity. Think how you've felt in your best clubbing experience, watching your favourite DJ play a song that will stay with you forever. Then think that for these people that was how they felt every night when Larry played.

But just when the audience where getting edgy, wanting to run out of the cinema and find the nearest pumping tune, the film took a turn that stopped the bobbing heads in their tracks. The underground scene was at its best mixing the euphoric feeling of the best sound people had ever heard with mind-blowing drugs and more love than they'd ever felt. At the peak of this insurrection, friends started disappearing. Slowly at first - ten or twenty people would not be seen for ages. When they were seen, they were desperately ill. Larry was one of them. Hundreds of people died and they didn't know what was happening to them. What had happened was that their experimentation with sex, drugs and an amazing scene had caused their death.

We may go clubbing, take drugs, experiment a little with whatever's on the market to heighten our clubbing experience, but we know the risks. We make our own choices and we know that whatever we do, we do it because we made an informed decision. Just imagine, twenty or thirty of your best mates, your clubbing pals, dying all at once and imagine how these guys felt when that happened thirty years ago. It's a sobering feeling and Ramos not only made me almost feel guilty, for the half hour before when I was burning to get out and party, but also made me realise exactly what Larry, David and the regulars did for clubbing today.

I thank Josell Ramos for telling this story and for allowing it to be told with so much heart. I urge you to go and see Maestro and defy you not to b e touched by it!(Toni Jones)

From what I've heard the film is preparing its US debut; this film should be supported.

lets go to the movies Pete Klein

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