Dave Chappelle’s Block Party
In September 2004, comedian Dave Chappelle organized a comedy and hip-hop concert in a Brooklyn neighborhood, with such big names as Kanye West, the Roots, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Mos Def, Common and the Fugees. The party looks like a hell of a good time; director Michel Gondry’s film is another matter. Gondry spent a year assembling his footage into a “work in progress” for the Toronto International Film Festival, and then six months later here it is—and it looks like run-of-the-mill party videos shot by a drunk. Though he made his name in music videos, Gondry shows little instinct for concert films, often cutting away from riveting performances to show banal backstage commentary. The several highlights seem to have been captured by accident, and the partygoers seem to be having more fun than the movie audience.