You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gunnin’ for That #1 Spot

Zeroing in on eight of the 24 top high school basketball players invited to the first "Elite" competition at Harlem's legendary Rucker Park in 2006, "Gunnin' for That #1 Spot" offers a snapshot of the kind of top players who one day hope to have a shoe named after them.

With:
With: Jerryd Bayless, Michael Beasley, Tyreke Evans, Donte Greene, Brandon Jennings, Kevin Love, Kyle Singler, Lance Stephenson.

Zeroing in on eight of the 24 top high school basketball players invited to the first “Elite” competition at Harlem’s legendary Rucker Park in 2006, “Gunnin’ for That #1 Spot” offers a snapshot of the kind of top players who one day hope to have a shoe named after them. After the gimmicky audience-shot concert film “Awesome … ,” Beastie Boy Adam Yauch proves he can make a comprehensive, state-of-the-art docu of interest to basketball aficionados. If, unlike “Hoop Dreams,” the pic has little crossover appeal for nonsports auds, fans should nevertheless turn out in droves on June 27 for this limited release.

The eight athletes singled out by Yauch are Jerryd Bayless, Michael Beasley, Tyreke Evans, Donte Greene, Brandon Jennings, Kevin Love, Kyle Singler and Lance Stephenson. Yauch roves far afield to observe his phenoms on their home turf, from rural Oregon to Brooklyn, buttonholing friends and family along the way.

While some players yet remain relatively untouched by media coverage and imminent hoopla, others are obviously the pride and hope of their neighborhoods. Among the young men are several whose names now figure prominently in projected NBA drafts, while others are still in high school.

In New York, Yauch accompanies the players as they get acquainted with each other and with the big city, video-effects weirdly curving the skyline in subjective approximation of Gotham’s overwhelming architecture. Yauch utilizes this fisheye-type distortion to assert the verticality of the city as well as to jazz up his coverage of the game.

Once on the court where Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Dr. J held sway, the kids get their first, unofficial taste of the big time.

During the game, Yauch manages to loosely keep track of his eight stars while still following the action. The level of basketball skill is so high and the teams so well balanced that the lead swings dramatically from one team to the next and back again in nail-biting fashion, though the viewer has no dog in this race, the eight players being evenly distributed through both teams.

Soundtrack samples freely from jazz, R&B, funk and hip-hop.

Gunnin' for That #1 Spot

Production: An Oscilloscope Laboratories release of an Oscilloscope Laboratories production. Produced by Jon Doran, Adam Yauch. Directed by Adam Yauch.

Crew: Camera (color, HD-to-35mm), Yauch; editor, Neal Usatin; sound, Al Zaleski. Reviewed at Tribeca Film Festival (Spotlight), May 1, 2008. Running time: 90 MIN.

With: With: Jerryd Bayless, Michael Beasley, Tyreke Evans, Donte Greene, Brandon Jennings, Kevin Love, Kyle Singler, Lance Stephenson.

More Film

  • Dominique McElligott

    Film News Roundup: Dominique McElligott, Beau Bridges Join Boyd Holbrook's 'Two/One'

    Zeroing in on eight of the 24 top high school basketball players invited to the first “Elite” competition at Harlem’s legendary Rucker Park in 2006, “Gunnin’ for That #1 Spot” offers a snapshot of the kind of top players who one day hope to have a shoe named after them. After the gimmicky audience-shot concert […]

  • Coco Pixar

    John Lasseter Allegations Cast Shadow Over Disney-Pixar's 'Coco' Debut

    Zeroing in on eight of the 24 top high school basketball players invited to the first “Elite” competition at Harlem’s legendary Rucker Park in 2006, “Gunnin’ for That #1 Spot” offers a snapshot of the kind of top players who one day hope to have a shoe named after them. After the gimmicky audience-shot concert […]

  • John Lasseter

    Pixar's John Lasseter Was the Subject of a 'Whisper Network' for More Than Two Decades

    Zeroing in on eight of the 24 top high school basketball players invited to the first “Elite” competition at Harlem’s legendary Rucker Park in 2006, “Gunnin’ for That #1 Spot” offers a snapshot of the kind of top players who one day hope to have a shoe named after them. After the gimmicky audience-shot concert […]

  • Andy Serkis Flarsky

    Andy Serkis Joins Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron in 'Flarsky'

    Zeroing in on eight of the 24 top high school basketball players invited to the first “Elite” competition at Harlem’s legendary Rucker Park in 2006, “Gunnin’ for That #1 Spot” offers a snapshot of the kind of top players who one day hope to have a shoe named after them. After the gimmicky audience-shot concert […]

  • John Lasseter Pixar

    John Lasseter Takes Leave of Absence From Disney/Pixar, Apologizes for Unwanted Hugs

    Zeroing in on eight of the 24 top high school basketball players invited to the first “Elite” competition at Harlem’s legendary Rucker Park in 2006, “Gunnin’ for That #1 Spot” offers a snapshot of the kind of top players who one day hope to have a shoe named after them. After the gimmicky audience-shot concert […]

  • at&t time warner merger

    AT&T-Time Warner Merger: Does the DOJ Have a Case?

    Zeroing in on eight of the 24 top high school basketball players invited to the first “Elite” competition at Harlem’s legendary Rucker Park in 2006, “Gunnin’ for That #1 Spot” offers a snapshot of the kind of top players who one day hope to have a shoe named after them. After the gimmicky audience-shot concert […]

  • Tom Hollander A Private War

    Tom Hollander Joins Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan in 'A Private War'

    Zeroing in on eight of the 24 top high school basketball players invited to the first “Elite” competition at Harlem’s legendary Rucker Park in 2006, “Gunnin’ for That #1 Spot” offers a snapshot of the kind of top players who one day hope to have a shoe named after them. After the gimmicky audience-shot concert […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content