Feb 21, 2010 at 7:30 pm
Lil Wayne: The Carter Documentary
With Adam Bhala Lough, Victor Vazquez.
The Carter is a documentary about Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. aka Lil’ Wayne. An internationally known rapper, his most recent album went platinum in a week, and he just might be the voice of his generation. But this ain’t no VH1 rock doc. Rather, it is an intoxicating, cinematic journey into the thoughts and world of an extremely complicated man whose creative force is something to behold. He never stops recording. He has a portable studio that he carries around in a black bag, and it allows him to lay down a track anytime anywhere. It is his pressure valve and makes him a refreshing anomaly in a sea of manufactured prefab “”singers.”” His work is his own: unfiltered, uncensored, raw, and powerful. Director Adam Bhala Lough, whose fiction film Weapons premiered in competition at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, has unbelievable access to Lil’ Wayne’s public and private lives. He captures remarkably candid moments, such as Lil’ Wayne recounting his first sexual experience, as well as him talking closedly about his drug habits. Following him all over the country and to Amsterdam, Lough mixes fly-on-the-wall footage of Lil’ Wayne in his hotel room and on his bus with artfully composed concert footage. The result is a shockingly intimate portrait of one of the most inspired (and eccentric) musicians of modern America.
“Transcends even the most accomplished cinema verite…the Best Film in Sundance 2009” – INDIEWIRE
“The Carter is the Don’t Look Back of rap…revelatory and kinetic” – Variety
Adam Bhala Lough began his career in filmmaking at Blockbuster Video at age 15 earning $4.25 an hour restocking videotapes. Inspired by the early 90’s American independent film scene, Lough made numerous short films with his friends on a borrowed Panasonic VHS Camcorder, editing tape-to-tape at the local public access station, and via one of these early experiments was accepted to NYU film school.
Upon graduation Lough completed his first feature length screenplay BOMB THE SYSTEM, an expanded version of his thesis. Produced on a budget around half a million dollars and a grant from Panavision the film premiered at the ’03 Tribeca Film Festival and garnered rave reviews, followed by an international festival tour, theatrical distribution deals in the US and Japan and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Feature Film.
Lough was named #6 on Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Indie Film and BOMB THE SYSTEM caught the eye of legendary filmmaker Jim Jarmusch who commissioned him to direct a short documentary of Jarmusch’s artistic process for the DVD release of Broken Flowers, FARMHOUSE.
Lough then co-directed his first feature documentary THE UPSETTER: The Life & Music of Lee Scratch Perry, a long time passion project with his good friend and NYU alum Ethan Higbee, narrated by Academy Award winning actor Benicio Del Toro.
Following up one music doc with another, Lough spent much of 2008 on the road with rap superstar Lil Wayne shooting and directing an intimate portrait THE CARTER in the US and Europe. The film premiered at Sundance in 2009 to high praise with Variety calling it “The Don’t Look Back of rap” – comparing it to Da Pennebaker’s Direct Cinema masterpiece on Bob Dylan.
Lough is also a professional screenwriter affiliated with the Writers Guild of America and is currently developing a feature for Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Films. In addition to directing and writing work Lough and his wife had their first child in 2007.
Victor Vazquez is a writer and performer of music. His musical projects include the rap group Das Racist (who created the “viral hit” song “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell”), Boy Crisis (called “the absolute worst band in the world” by Pitchfork and quoted as being “highly licensable” in Entertainment Weekly and The New York Times) and various experimental work under the name KOOL A.D. He has written music criticism for the Village Voice and Death + Taxes Magazine.