When the movie Wild Styles came out in 1983, the rest of the world got a peek into what was really happening at the underbelly of cool in New York City. Starring Fab Five Freddy, Lee Quinones, the Rock Steady Crew, Cold Crash Brothers and others, the movie served as both the first major film that gave voice to a growing counter culture and graffiti, and served as a turning point for director Charlie Ahearn’s career.
After decades of staying in touch with the true mavens of hip hop, Charlie Ahearn recently wrapped up a new project spotlighting one of the first street photographers in the most literal sense of the word. Jamel Shabazz Street Photographer is Ahearn’s documentary about the Back in the Days photographer, and the film includes interviews with Jamel Shabazz, KRS-One, Fab 5 Freddy and many of the subjects Shabazz captured throughout the 80s. The documentary premiers this Sunday at BAMcinemaFest in Brooklyn.
We caught up with the man behind the film as he takes us through his six-year process of making a documentary. Click through to see more from the Wild Styles director.