Dancing on Film | RE:GENERATION

RE:GENERATION | Film Preview

Legends young and old collide on new documentary.

It's only natural that a film documenting a studio session between Skrillex and the remaining members of the Doors, which is funded by Hyundai's atrociously named Veloster, be met with some level of trepidation. This is exactly what RE:GENERATION, a new music documentary that also sees collaborations between Pretty Lights and LeAnn Rimes, DJ Premier and the Berklee Symphony Orchestra, and Mark Ronson and a veritable all-star cast of MCs and New Orleans jazz musicians sets out to do. And the results, while not always perfect, are much less of a musical cacophony than you might think. 

The film, which debuted on select screens throughout Chicago last week and continues its screening this Thursday 23, sets out to have "5 DJs turn the table of the history of music" and gets it right more often than not. The studio session in which British production whiz Mark Ronson, Erykah Badu, Mos Def and members of the Daptones get down with the Preservational Hall Jazz Band is nothing short of legendary. You can also tell something magical is happening when hip-hop production guru DJ Premier gets a lesson in classical compostion and turns it into an epic cut complete with verses from Nas. 

While dubstep megastar Skrillex's work with the Doors (sans Jim Morrison) on "Breakn' A Sweat" is the quickest to garner knee-jerk reactions of foul play, the results are surprisingly masterful, melodic, properly psychedelic and primmed for a dance floor. Even the honky-tonk blues of Pretty Lights, LeAnn Rimes and Dr. Ralph Stanley inspires repeat listens. 

Taking viewers through the artists' experiences working together, lessons learned and performances, the film strikes me as a pretty awesome undertaking (I've only seen clips) even if it was dreamed up on Madison Avenue. It's something many of these artists would otherwise never have gotten the opportunity to do and a pretty fascinating study of some great musical minds, new and old. Plus, the Veloster, as far as I can tell, is nowhere to be seen.

—Joshua P. Ferguson

Visit regenerationmusicproject.com for participating theaters and showtimes.

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