Archive for March, 2013


Tashiana Washington and Ty Hickson hatch a plan to earn respect in the graffiti scene in Gimme the Loot.

The following is an excerpt from my review of Gimme the Loot, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at South By Southwest. You can read the full review at Next Projection here.

Great city films often need no real story to reel us in. From Taxi Driver to Premium Rush, Lost in Translation to Slacker, great city films immerse us in the chaotic quirks of metropolitan life, where people of mixed cultural, ethnic, and economic backgrounds interact with one another in tight quarters. These are the films that luxuriate in the minutiae of what makes Austin, Tokyo, or New York tick. They capture a city’s essence – what it feels like to move through its streets on a given day.

Like the films mentioned above, Gimme the Loot’s plot is a total ruse. Its real raison d’être is to submerge us in a culture, a mood, a moment: in this case, the graffiti scene in present-day New York. As such, the film offers a wonderful street-level portrait of NYC, one that exudes the spontaneity, cultural diversity, and claustrophobia of America’s largest concrete jungle.

Gimme the Loot follows a pair of restless graffiti artists as they look to make their mark on the scene. Over two loosely-plotted days, Malcolm (Ty Hickson) and Sophia (Tashiana Washington) ping-pong through the city to scrounge up $500, which they need to pull off a show-stopping stunt at Citi Field. Their plan: to sneak into the stadium and “bomb” the Home Run Apple as a fuck-you to rival Queens’ taggers. The apple, we learn, is a holy grail for graffiti artists; no one has ever tagged it in its decades at Shea Stadium and Citi Field.

Check out the full review here.

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