P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2003
January 20, 2003
DJ Documentary Scratch to Screen at MASS MoCA on February 20th
(North Adams, Mass.) On Thursday, February 20, MASS MoCA continues its popular Cinema Lounge series with a screening of the newest documentary by Doug Pray, Scratch, which premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. In Scratch Pray explores the world of the DJ from the pioneers of hip-hop, to the invention of scratching, to the most recent explosion called "turntablism." He seamlessly combines interviews, live performances, and raw footage to create an exhilarating story of hard-working underdogs and serious musicians who have changed the way we hear, play, and create music. The Los Angeles Times called Scratch "highly entertaining," while the San Francisco Chronicle said, "For hip-hop heads and for anyone who's ever wondered about those scrabbling noises in commercials, video games and rock recordings, Scratch is required viewing. The antithesis of dry history, it's a documentary that invites viewers inside its story to groove along with a genre that's changing the past."
Pray is able to bring together an outstanding compilation of DJ icons combining modern stars such as DJ Qbert and Mix Master Mike with well-known legends such as Zulu nation founder Afrika Bambaataa. He combines all of their tales almost as a storyteller would in creating a saga of the rise of a nation. Filmcritic.com says, "Doug Pray digs so deep into the history and layers of the subculture that one can't help but gleefully be scooped up for the ride." Tor Thorsen of Reel.com sums up the movie best, saying "Scratch triumphs by profiling a vibrant, underground culture that is as innovative as it is misunderstood. Not only do you walk away from the film with a head crammed full of knowledge, but also a heart racing with the excitement of seeing something entirely new. In an age of prefabricated pop, Scratch shows us something original."
Doug Pray, a Colorado native, attended film school at UCLA and has spent the majority of his life in Los Angeles. He first broke into the independent film scene by directing his 1996 award-winning documentary Hype! about the rise and fall of the grunge scene in Seattle. Since Hype! Pray has been a fixture in the creation of music videos working, for artists ranging from Eazy-E to John Fogerty. His next film venture was editing for American Pimp, directed by the Hughes brothers who also produced Scratch. Pray currently has a third documentary in the works entitled Big Rigs that talks about America's trucking culture.
DJ Spooky will introduce the film, putting his own "spin" on the world of turntablists.Ê Scratch is part of Stalwart Originality: New Traditions in Black Performance, a week-long conference presented by Williams College. For more information visit www.williams.edu/acad-depts/theatre/stalwart2003/index.html. Other Stalwart Originality events at MASS MoCA include a work-in-progress showing of DJ Spooky's Rebirth of a Nation on Friday, February 28, at 7:30 P.M. and Sekou Sundiata's solo show Blessing the Boats on Saturday, March 1, at 8:00 P.M.
The showing is part of MASS MoCA's Cinema Lounge series which features music documentaries in Club B-10, the revamped B-10 theater. The Cinema Lounge series is sponsored by Berkshire Gas and supported by Holly Angell Hardman.
Tickets for Scratch are $5.50. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located on Marshall Street in North Adams from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. every day but Tuesday. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or online at www.massmoca.org at any time of day.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
MASS MoCA 1040 MASS MoCA Way North Adams, MA 01247 413.MOCA.111 www.massmoca.org
For Immediate Release