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Jan 10, 2015 at 7:30 pm – Jan 11, 2015 at 9:30 pm

FROM DEEP: An Essay in Three Parts

With Brett Kashmere and Jace Clayton, also known as DJ /rupture.

From Deep is a new feature-length experimental documentary by Pittsburgh filmmaker Brett Kashmere, which explores the three-decade love affair between basketball and rap. Part sociological treatise, part audiovisual mixtape, Kashmere’s ambitious documentary delivers a high-energy history of basketball’s evolution in American culture: from indoor New England novelty to outdoor urban phenomenon.

Using basketball as an entry point into larger discussions of collective identity, race, and fandom, From Deep combines elements of the personal essay and the mixtape to illustrate the shifting relationship between social, cultural, and political forces and developments in America. Part cultural history, part reflection on the game as part of everyday life, From Deep unites two interrelated developments form the mid-1980s which together propelled basketball to its prominent position in the American (and global) consciousness: Michael Jordan’s entry into the NBA (and emergence as the world’s first corporate branded athlete), and hip hop’s movement from counter-cultural margins to the mainstream. The parallel ascent of the sport and music genre is traced through a vast array of clips culled from movies, music videos, news footage, highlight reels, and videos games, and iconic songs such as Kurtis Blow’s Basketball and Run-DMC’s My Adidas. Providing poetic counterpoint are documentary “moving snapshots” of neighborhood pickup and streetball games around the country: from the small towns of Indiana, to playgrounds in Hartford and Akron, indoor gyms in Springfield, Mass. and Louisville, improvised makeshift courts on parking and abandoned lots in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, and famous outdoor blacktops like Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park and The Cage at West 4th Street in downtown New York, among others.

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Brett Kashmere in conversation with Jace Clayton (also known as DJ /rupture), who provided music direction for the film.


From Deep is like sitting next to your smartest friend during the game, the wonk with all the relevant stats and obscure facts, broadening the game into an exploration of wider cultural symbols and one’s own involvement with them.”

– Christy LeMaster, Cine-File

“Travel far to see FROM DEEP.”

– Jonathan Kahana, UCSC

A “compendious, compulsively watchable basketball documentary.”

– Leo Goldsmith & Rachael Rakes, The Brooklyn Rail

“The avant-garde video essay meets Steve James’ HOOP DREAMS.”

– Blake Williams, blogTO

“Gorgeously photographed and edited, it’s an experimental documentary with a mix-tape sensibility—an essay film in thrall to the And-1 Tour.”

– Adam Nayman, The L Magazine

“While plenty can be said about the current state of American politics, From Deep suggests at least one place where democracy perseveres in its most idealistic form: on the playground, and in the streets.”

– Pasha Malla, The Globe and Mail

From Deep “celebrates the street game as the sport at its purest: raw, improvisational, and untarnished by economic exploitation – perhaps like the structure of the movie itself.”

– Kyle Harris, Denver Westword

“Painstakingly researched and chock full of archival footage from the game’s century-long history, FROM DEEP is Brett Kashmere’s sophisticated essay on the cultural history of basketball. He skillfully balances a poetic consideration of the game with a semiotic inquiry into the symbols created as the game develops from a rec center pastime into a multi-million dollar industry.”

– Christy LeMaster, Cine-File

“FROM DEEP is being released and screened in 2014, but its expiration date is nowhere on the horizon. Stick it in a Smithsonian vault and bring it out twenty, thirty years from now and it will all make perfect sense. Who knows if basketball and hip-hop will have a close relationship by then – if hip-hop, the way we know it, will still exist, but FROM DEEP will still make sense; it will make sense because it has so totally captured the styles that have happened in and to basketball up to this point. Kashmere has given us a uniquely thoughtful and meticulous view of basketball, respecting and exploring the imprints the game has made, and will continue to make, on the rest of society. Watch what he does next.”

– Miles Wray, Sports Illustrated’s Hardwood Paroxsym


Work Specifics:

USA/Canada, 2013, 88 minutes
Concept / Edit / Production: Brett Kashmere
Camera: Toby Waggoner
Sound: Jeremy Fleishman
Music Direction: DJ /rupture
Location Recording: Cody Darling
Narration: Trent Wolfred and Art Terry
Distribution: Vtape.org


Brett KashmereBrett Kashmere is a Canadian-born, Pittsburgh-based filmmaker, writer and curator. Combining traditional research methods with materialist aesthetics and hybrid forms, Kashmere’s experimental documentaries explore the intersection of history and (counter-) memory, geographies of identity, popular culture, and the politics of representation. His films, videos, and installations have been exhibited internationally at festivals and museums, including the BFI London Film Festival, MilanoFilm Festival, Kassel Dokfest, Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago), Images Festival (Toronto), Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, among others. Kashmere is also the founding editor and publisher of INCITE Journal of Experimental Media.

ACE CLAYTON, also known as DJ /rupture, is an artist whose recent projects include Sufi Plug Ins and The Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner.


Jan 10, 2015 at 7:30 pm
Jan 11, 2015 at 9:30 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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