Bodied Trailer

Joseph Kahn‘s Bodied chronicles the misadventures of a white battle rapper, Adam Merkin (Calum Worthy) who struggles with finding where to draw the line in terms of speech. The film is offensive, hilarious, and a ton of fun, winning a slew of awards during its run on the film festival circuit. Bodied landed on YouTube Premium last fall and today it’s out on iTunes and Blu-Ray.

I had a chance to chat with Joseph about what he thinks about the value of battle rap is for our society, as well as the challenges he encountered getting Bodied out into the world. Hit the jump to read excerpts of our conversation, which have been edited and condensed for clarity. You can also listen to the whole conversation in podcast form below.
Read More »

Joseph Kahn is a legendary music video director, having created music videos for artists such as Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, and (most recently) Ava Max. But his recent film, Bodied, may be his most provocative work. In Bodied, a graduate student named Adam (Calum Worthy) realizes he has a talent for battle rapping, but discovers that his words inside the ring may have consequences beyond what he’d originally imagined.

Kahn is one of the most talented visual stylists of our age, so I was pleased to have the chance to chat with him recently about how he thinks about his filmmaking technique. We recorded a video broadcast in which he breaks down the opening sequence of Bodied shot by shot. Check out our talk after the jump. You can watch Bodied right now on YouTube Premium, or buy it on Blu-Ray or iTunes VOD.
Read More »

David, Devindra, Jeff share their Thanksgiving (and failed Black Friday shopping) experiences before launching into a jam-packed ‘what we’ve been watching.’ Joseph Kahn, director of the Youtube Premium movie Bodied, joins in for a spirited debate and review of Creed II, the latest film in the Rocky franchise.

Check out Devindra’s new podcast Know More Tech, answering your question on the latest gadgets, and David’s video review on Mission: Impossible – Fallout 4k.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

Read More »

Joseph Kahn is a prolific commercial and music video director, but he has only made three feature films. His first, Torque, was The Fast and the Furious on motorcycles, but he made it a spoof of The Fast and the Furious, and people expecting a straight Fast and the Furious weren’t on board. He made Detention independently, but the teen slasher comedy with time travel was a tough sell for distributors, even as a Josh Hutcherson vehicle.

On the surface, Bodied would be Kahn’s most commercial film. It’s about a college kid, Adam (Callum Worthy), who enters the world of battle rap an underdog, and becomes a champion. But there’s more to Bodied than a hero’s journey. The film takes Adam to task for being a white kid infiltrating a multi-cultural world. Though fellow rapper Behn Grymm (Jackie Long) tells him anything goes in battle rap, Adam does face consequences for his raps.

Kahn spoke with /Film in Los Angeles this month. He filmed Bodied in 2016 and it played festivals in 2017, so the film is entering an even more volatile powderkeg of a world than he imagined in 2018. Some mild spoilers follow in this thematic discussion, so if you’re already sold, read this after you see Bodied in theaters November 2 or on YouTube Premium November 28.

Read More »

Bodied Trailer

Joseph Kahn’s Bodied, which made its way around the festival circuit last fall, is finally here, though it enters a world that feels even more volatile than the one it was meant to critique. Born out of the polarized reactions to Kahn’s “Wildest Dreams” music video for Taylor Swift — which came under fire for centering whiteness in the Serengeti on a fictional ’50s film set — the adrenaline-fueled satire follows white academic Adam Merkin (Callum Worthy, American Vandal) as he enters (and eventually, dominates) the world of underground rap battles. It’s a wildly entertaining movie, one that draws laughs and gasps and applause in equal measure, and it’s best watched with an audience with whom one can experience its thrills and debate their appropriateness after.

“Words. Are. Weapons,” a phrase spoken early on in the film’s first teaser, may as well be its mantra. It understands the power and the beauty of words, but it also understands their ugliness, and how these categories can shift and overlap depending on context. Its spoken dialogue is as poetic as its battle verses, and its visual palette is just as energetic (both feature Dostoevsky references, too!) though in an era where ugly words can galvanize entire hate movements into action, one wonders just how much fun can be had while exploring their power in a satirical setting. For my money, it’s worth the time, but as the film goes on to explore: we are all, each and every one of us, going to have a different approach to art.

Read More »

Bodied Trailer

Fantastic Fest is still in full swing over in Austin, Texas, and there are plenty of movies that will be worth checking out once they hit theaters for general audiences to see. But in the meantime, one of last year’s most buzzed about entries at Fantastic Fest 2017 is finally getting released.

Bodied is a battle rap movie executive produced by Eminem where no one is safe from the sharp tongue of brutal rhymes that come from skilled lyricists that would make Shakespeare cry. A new trailer has finally arrived for the movie that is coming to theaters and YouTube later this year, and it packs quite a punch. Read More »

Last year, director Joseph Kahn‘s Bodied played at a number of film festivals, won a number of audience awards, and then promptly vanished. Earlier this year, it re-emerged with a special screening at the Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by YouTube.

But one of the greatest audience movies you’ll ever get a chance to see deserves to be seen, well, with an audience. And now you’ll have that chance, because distributor NEON is spearheading a theatrical release for one of the best and wildest movies of 2018.

Read More »

Ethan Anderton’s Top 10 Movies of 2018 So Far

Top 10 Movies of 2018 So Far

While the fresh hellscape that is every day of 2018 brings a new nightmare multiple times a day, the movies this year have provided us some kind of escape. As usual, some of those movies have done it better than others, and that’s why members of the /Film team are counting down their favorite movies of the year at the halfway point of 2018. Now it’s my turn.

In order to qualify for our lists, obviously we had to have seen the movie already, but the movie didn’t have to be released before the midway point of the year. As long a movie has a release date for 2018, it’s eligible. So let’s get down to the wide variety of movies that impressed me enough to make my Top 10 Movies of 2018 So Far, including a #1 pick that will probably stir the pot just a little bit. Read More »

movies sold at sundance

As the first major film festival of the year, Sundance is ground zero for distributors discovering some of the gems that will populate film release schedules throughout the rest of the year. Here is our list of movies sold at Sundance 2018 so far, which should be coming to theaters, VOD, and streaming services in the near future.

In this update: The Sentence, The Tale, and Sorry to Bother You.

Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Bodied Distributor

Joseph Kahn‘s Bodied made the festival rounds in 2017, but it didn’t secure a distributor or find theatrical release that year. That’s the one and only reason this satirical, take-no-prisoners comedy set in the world of competitive battle rap didn’t land in my top 10 of the year. Seriously. It’s that good. And it deserves to be seen with a big audience.

Now, on the eve of the Sundance Film Festival, Bodied has found an unlikely distributor: YouTube, who is bringing the film to Sundance ahead of release date later this year. That means Bodied is a 2018 movie, which makes it one of the best movies of 2018.

Read More »