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David LaChapelle

Sundance short take

Photographer and vid helmer David LaChapelle makes his filmmaking debut with 24-min. short “Krumped,” which documents an underground L.A. dance movement called krumping or clowning. “What Nirvana was to rock-and-roll in early ’90s is what these kids are to hip hop. It’s the alternative to the bling-bling, tie-in-with-a-designer corporate hip-hop thing,” says LaChapelle, who spent eight months filming in Compton, Long Beach and Watts. “There are fifty of these clown groups and they battle each other. It sometimes looks like they are fighting; it’s very athletic and aggressive. The velocity of it is mindboggling.” LaChapelle, who stumbled on the phenom when shooting the video for Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty,” has about 40 hours of unedited footage for a potential full-length feature. “I never had interest in doing a doc but this had to be documented.”

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