Break it down to the Beastie Boys' smart-ass advocacy of the everydude, or their ability to agilely swing with hip-hop's developments and evolve with their more adventurous listeners, but Adam Yauch (MCA), Mike Diamond (Mike D), and Adam Horovitz (Adrock) have always maintained a special "relationship" with their fans. Their new concert film, Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That!, a listener-producer "collabo," as Yauch puts it, explodes that bond. It's a mash(-up) note, a Bronx-cheer pop Rashomon from the 50 followers who were given video cameras to shoot the group's sold-out Madison Square Garden concert Oct. 9, 2004.
Something from each camera made it onscreen. By the second part of the film, director-producer Yauch — working under his music vid/viz art nom de camera Nathaniel Hornblower — moves from exciting but straightforward cinéma vérité into a playful, fourth wall–banging realm familiar to aficionados of the group's videos. The color is leeched from one song and intensified in another; strobe effects are magnified here, and the zoom plunges deep into the frame there. When one shooter — diligently following his preconcert instructions to "start when the Beastie Boys hit the stage and don't stop till it's over" — takes his camera into the men's room and captures himself taking a piss, Yauch matches the onstage musical break with the rip of a paper towel.
Along with Yauch's edit of a female fan doing the same dance move as the onstage Diamond (and his superimposition of the two in the same frame, so that they appear to be dancing together), that bathroom break also marked the limits for the two Beasties sidelined during the editing. Discussing the film in Austin at this year's South by Southwest conference, Diamond said he "begged Yauch to take out the explicit scene of me dancing with the young lady." Horovitz felt like the onscreen urination was too much information.
But what are the now mature Boys going to do with all the newfound respect they're fielding from ... their parents? "My dad [playwright Israel Horovitz] is just superimpressed with Yauch," Horovitz claims. "Now that we got reviewed in the New York Times as a film —"
" — it comes onto the parents' radar," Yauch says.
"What, isn't it good enough we're playing at the Garden?" Horovitz jokes. *
AWESOME; I FUCKIN' SHOT THAT!
For showtimes go to www.sfbg.com.