Film Screening + Conversation
Tuesday, February 16th, 2010, 7:00pm
5 East 3rd Street (at Bowery)
New York, NY 10003
Tel.: +1 (212) 439-8700
Closest Subway: 6 at Bleecker Street
Admission is free, no reservations required.
Wholetrain. 2006. Written and directed by Florian Gaag. With Mike Adler, Florian Renner, Elvas M’Barek, and Jacob Matschenz. 89 min. In German with English subtitles. The screening of Wholetrain will be followed by a conversation between director Florian Gaag and graffiti writer Pure TFP.
With his fantastic cinema debut WHOLETRAIN Florian Gaag tells the story of a crew of four “writers” – David, Tino, Elyas und Achim – who observe the hierarchies, the values, the rules and the codes of the graffiti scene. Night after night they make off for the subway stations of the city, intent on leaving opulent images behind. But as another crew appears on the scene, and the four feel challenged, a creative battle ensues, one that will change the lives of these young people forever.
WHOLETRAIN is an exciting and emotionally gripping drama, one that explores for the first time the secret universe of the graffiti scene. The protagonists exist in a breathless state, suspended somewhere between two worlds: their day to day life, and their existence within the crew. Florian Gaag manages to recount a tale coloured by tension and aggression. The result is a many-sided portrait of characters whose world has never been documented in this way before. Their subculture remains authentic and realistic. Edgy editing and grandiloquent camerawork, a pulsating soundtrack and an excellent ensemble of actors, make WHOLETRAIN a film experience not to be missed.
The soundtrack was written and produced by Florian Gaag, who worked with legendary figures like Hip Hop greats KRS-One, Freddie Foxxx, O.C., Planet Asia, Afu-Ra, Grand Agent, Tame One, Akrobatik and El Da Sensei. Florian Gaag also collaborated with internationally renowned graffiti writers Neon, Won, Cemnoz, Pure and Ciel to create artwork for the film.
“Florian Gaag has an excellent movie out. I am really proud to be part of that project. Wholetrain is the dopest graffiti movie ever. I would put Wholetrain next to the great movies, right up next to Style Wars. I thought that Wholetrain really captured Hip Hop’s culture.”
CHARLIE AHEARN (director of Wild Style):
“I saw Wholetrain at S.O.B.’s in New York. It was a great experience watching it. There was a tremendous amount of character development, interesting dialogue and a lot of story in it. It took real vision to make that world come alive like that. Wholetrain is an impressive piece of work. It’s the only Graffiti-Movie that can follow in the footsteps of Wild Style.”
HENRY CHALFANT (author and photographer of Subway Art; co-producer of the documentary Style Wars):
“Wholetrain shows the human dimensions of Graffiti-Writing. The social conflicts of the protagonists are fascinating and allow you to take a look at the writers’ real lives. Real characters, real problems. Wholetrain is a very good film that not only reflects writing culture but also leaves room to authentically portray the writers´ social reality.”
KET (legendary graffiti-writer from New York):
“I loved the movie. I thought that Wholetrain represented the scene the best – ever.
It really captured what writers go through and their struggles; they were humanized, they weren’t caricatures. I appreciate that. I remember that it made me feel that I was there with those guys, living with those guys. It took me back to a time when I was living the way those kids were living. I thought it was very authentic in that sense.”
“This film simply hits you in the face, and you can’t get it out of your eyes, your ears, and your senses.” ULYSSES
“A febrile movie. A moving drama and homage to youth.” SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG
“Florian Gaag has shot a small film about sprayers and made a huge portrait on the Ninjas of this subculture. An excellent cinematic debut.” SPIEGEL ONLINE
“Even the minor roles were well cast in a film that managed to convince in every detail, great fun indeed.” TAZ
“A grandiloquent love affair with the graffiti scene.”
“A wild and uncompromising film.”
“These characters are so real, real like we hardly ever see them in the cinema.”
“A phenomenal debut.” EPD FILM
“The film is as fast as a speeding subway train.” DIE WELT
„A gripping drama with an outstanding cast. The most authentic German movie in a long time.“ ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE
“Exact, sensitive and without cliches.” BERLINER ZEITUNG
“A furious debut film, one that adapts the aesthetic of graffiti in a clever way and knows just how to capture it in cinematic terms.”
“Wholetrain with its exact symbiosis of staccato editing, hiphop sound design and racy plot, remains one of the best films of the year.” FILM-DIENST