Late Beastie Boy’s film company, Oscilloscope Laboratories, carries on his legacy.
By Fallon Prinzivalli
With the news Friday that Beastie Boy Adam Yauch lost his battle with cancer, distraught fans turned up “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)” and remembered the rapper’s incredible musical accomplishments. But those of us with an eye on movies remember MCA’s contributions to the film industry as well.
With countless Beastie songs featured on movie soundtracks, including J.J. Abram’s “Star Trek” and Marvel’s “Iron Man 2,” there’s no doubt the group as a whole had success in film. But Yauch took it a step further when he dove into directing documentaries and shorts, including “Fight for Your Right Revisited,” his 2011 Sundance Film Festival debut that acted as a sequel to the hip-hop trio’s 1987 music video.
Most notably, however, Yauch launched the indie production and distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories. With Yauch’s death, some are wondering what will become of the company’s future. A statement on the Oscilloscope website reads, “Adam’s legacy will remain a driving force at Oscilloscope — his indomitable spirit and his great passion for film, people and hard work — always with a sense of humor and a lot of heart.”
Here’s what films are in store for Oscilloscope as it carries on Yauch’s memory:
“Shut Up and Play the Hits”
A year ago, LCD Soundsystem played their final show to an audience of thousands at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden. James Murphy, LCD’s frontman and the co-founder of DFA Records, decided to jump ship at the height of the group’s career, which — while ambitious — proved to pay off. The show sold out almost instantly and the band left the music industry on top. As fans, friends and family gathered to witness the end of one of the most popular bands of its generation, the cameras were rolling to capture every moment of the unforgettable performance. The film closely follows Murphy as he deals with the positive and negative effects of his decision.
Director Andrea Arnold offers a distinctly new take on the classic love story by Emily Brontë that follows the passionate love that grows between the mysterious Heathcliff and outgoing Catherine. The romance stirs envy within Catherine’s brother, Hindley, and ultimately leads to misery for Heathcliff. Oscilloscope describes Arnold’s version as “a beautiful and evocative visual masterpiece that brings out the powerful emotions at the heart of Brontë’s classic novel, resulting in a viscerally affecting love story.” “Skins” breakout star Kaya Scodelario is portraying the adult version of Catherine.
“Hello I Must Be Going”
This Todd Louiso-directed project was selected as the opening-night film for Sundance 2012. It follows Amy (“Up in the Air” actress Melanie Lynskey), a woman who returns to her parents’ home in Connecticut after divorcing her husband. As she begins a love affair with a 19-year-old actor (“Girls” actor Christopher Abbott), her once-dormant passion surfaces, helping her discover a newfound sense of worth and purpose. Lynskey’s breakout role is enhanced by Blythe Danner, who plays her mother suffering from empty-nest syndrome. The sex- and humor-filled love story is described by Oscilloscope as an “endearing and nuanced depiction of both the comic and tragic avenues of an existential crossroads.” It arrives in theaters August 17.
“28 Hotel Rooms”
Directed and penned by Matt Ross, the film focuses on an intense sexual affair that begins as a one-night stand and accelerates into a relationship. The story follows a man (Chris Messina) and a woman (Marin Ireland) away on a business trip who sleep together despite the fact that she’s married and he’s dating someone. One night couldn’t possibly hurt, right? When they spot each other months later, in another city at another hotel, they decide to hook up a second time and keep seeing each other. A threatening love blossoms as they form a profound relationship and deal with the ramifications of loving more than one person.
The word Samsara means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the focal point of the movie for award-winning “Baraka” filmmakers Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson. In the documentary, Fricke and Magidson search for the underlying current that links the individual lives of humanity. The project was quite an ambitious one filmed over the course of five years on five continents in 25 countries and shot entirely on 70mm film. The movie is meant to be a sensory experience full of stunning images and music that encourage the audience to interpret the meaning behind it. “Samsara” is set to hit theaters August 24.
Share your memories of Adam on Twitter using the hashtag #RIPMCA.