DITCH PLAINS, 2013
Shot in the East New York section of Brooklyn around the time of Hurricane Sandy, Ditch Plains (HDV, 29 mins) is a dystopian sci-fi street dance film featuring members of Ringmasters Crew.
Like avatars running the levels of an apocalyptic video game, Ringmasters Corey, Jay Donn and Marty McFly hallucinate the city and its networks as a space of terror, mutation and magic. Flexing, bone breaking, pauzing and connecting in nighttime streets, hotel hallways and a posh Park Avenue apartment, the dancers improvise dream-like scenes suggesting digital death matches, stop-and-frisk situations and catastrophic man-machine interfaces. Meanwhile, documentary shots of Far Rockaway show the city’s attempt to manage disaster in real life: police patrol the shattered flood zone as citizens line up with jerry cans. Scenes on iPhone screens play like Vine transmissions in a blacked-out world where no survivors or friends can receive them. Referencing contemporary pop spectacles such as Step Up Revolution, as well as Jean Rouch’s The Mad Masters, Ditch Plains imagines a sort of End of Days street party while free-styling an abstract narrative about the fatal coupling of subjects and systems under conditions of permanent crisis.
With: Ringmasters Corey, Jay Donn, Marty McFly, Jim Fletcher, Vibez, Asha Flasha, Damian "Gucci-ino" Buchanan, Lil Buck, Spyda Da HatMan, Modesto Flako Jimenez, Princess Lockeroo, 8 Ball, Ace, Dez, DVS, Flizzo, Maze, Optimus, Problemz, Scorp, Lakela Brown, Marie Karlberg, Jackie Klempay, Michael Stynes, Vanessa Cintron, Prynce Ptah, Michael Sanchez
Cinematography: Till Megerle
Editing/Sound Design: Steffen Martin
Additional Camera: Loretta Fahrenholz, Connor Owens
Additional Editing: Lena Hatebur
Production Coordination: Inka Meissner
Text: John Kelsey
Color Grading: Ben Brix
Title Animation: Elisabeth Schulze
Interlude Animation: Steffen Martin
Titles/Graphic Design: Lina Grumm/HIT
Music: Dan Aran, Timo Ellis, Steffen Martin
REVIEW: Artforum Critic's Pick