The Man from Mo'Wax


Action / Documentary / Music

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh77%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright94%
IMDb Rating7.410312

music documentarydj shadow

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
977.57 MB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 56 min
P/S ...
1.84 GB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 56 min
P/S 0 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MwabaNgwisha10 / 10

Fantastic - truly warts-and-all

This is a film you have to see, it's honest, exhilarating and packed full of brilliant tracks. Even without being a die-hard Mo'Wax/UNKLE fan I could watch this film countless times, this is a profound story of dizzying success, crushing failure and everything in-between. Amazing home video from James Lavelle and DJ Shadow as well as some really insightful (and at times very funny) interviews with key people from from the worlds of music and art, Josh Homme, Futura, Ian Brown for example, make this film a must see.

Reviewed by sholto-7937910 / 10

Serious 90's nostalgia trip.

I am the same age as Lavelle, and contend that the 90's hip hop and electro music has never been surpassed - apart from DJ Shadow, Blackalicious, Portishead, Massive Attack and the Beastie Boys (all referenced in this doco.),think Lamb, The Chemical Brothers and Leftfield just for a start; then the more underground artists like Coldcut, DJ Spooky, Kid Loco, Herbert, Coil...

Even if you were not into the scene, this was an entertaining biography following the dramatic peaks and troughs in the life of a gifted visionary and flawed human; even a kind of everyman story - perhaps resonant for every privileged gen-X male. It is questionable whether Lavelle is really an artist, or just a kind of curator - a particularly creative, ambitious marketing and A&R man, who was in the right place and time to make a career from his passion.

So many of the people interviewed in this film are fascinating in their own right, artists and producers pivotal to this early 90's London music scene and the amazing art that it produced - not only in the electronic genre, and not only music.

There have been some great music docos recently, and I look forward to more - especially this year's "Sisters with Transistors" which I haven't tracked down yet. So despite my obvious bias I believe this an objectively engaging piece of storytelling and recommend it unreservedly.

Reviewed by qaysnsanja8 / 10

If you appreciate underground music scenes as well as a good rise and fall story, then you'll definitely appreciate this

I didn't know what to expect from 'The Man from Mo'Wax'. I went in cold, I didn't know anything about the plot and genre nor the artist, James Lavelle, whose life is at the forefront. The (very) stylish poster filled with a lineup of edgy characters suggested that I was in for something exciting and energetic which is not only the anti-thesis of what one would expect from a documentary but also an accurate representation of how this film breaks the conventions of a medium that has been allowed to play it safe. From the slick quick cut montages to the merging of archive footage with era appropriate reenactments, 'The Man from Mo'Wax' embraces the grittiness of the time period that makes up most of it's narrative (late 80's - 90's London) and captures what made Lavelle's brand so appealing during that time. The use of old school photos of frantic gigs as well as suitably fast snippets of music by Lavelle's diverse lineup of collaborators not only captured the intense nostalgia the interviewees had for their past work but also had me, someone who was born just as this era of music had ended, wishing that I was a consumer during Lavelle's rise to fame as opposed to the more commercialized and definitely far less earnest music scene of London today. Despite having a very modest budget, I found myself amazed at how creative the use of graphics were in this film, with a particular standout being the montages of shifting record covers, as this level of energy placed into the film allowed it to live up to the sense of the scale that was needed to convey how at it's core, Lavelle's career is a classic rise and fall story.

During my time watching 'The Man From Mo'Wax', I found myself favorably comparing it to the critically adored 2015 N. W. A biopic 'Straight Outta Compton' which itself is a rise and fall story but of course with more well known leads at the forefront. I am among many within my age group who had never heard of Lavelle but the film still succeeded in making me respect his artistry and care about the journey that he embarked on during his career. Like 'Compton', we as the audience are actively rooting for Lavelle as we see every step of underdog journey and raw creativity, whilst still being forced to accept the fall after his rise was a result of his own self destructive ego and dismissal of the very people who helped him achieve success as an artist since day one. For this reason, I would argue that using the medium of documentary as a opposed to a typical biopic was the only way this story could be told. The use of interviews from those closest to Lavelle, as well as his own narration and archive footage, allows the audience to witness the good, the bad and the ugly of this man during his career. This not only allows us to still feel sympathy for him even when he messes up i.e. An old recording of James owning up to his addictions and adultery but also audiences are allowed to decide for themselves by the end of the narrative if he was either misunderstood like his mother argued, the treacherous egomaniac that some of his old friends described him as or even a bit of both.

That said however I do feel too much was going on in the narrative to keep up with every important moment in Lavelle's story. I felt that too many of his collaborators were being randomly introduced and barely any time, except for a couple of brief statements, was given to fully articulate their grievances enough to the point where I began confusing different people (DJ Shadow however was the only exception as he was given enough screen time) with each other as well as with different stories. Overall, I am glad that I saw this documentary not only has it made more open minded about what the medium can achieve but also inspired me as to progress further as a young creative and music enthusiast - if a 14 year old can build an empire just by using his pocket money to get some turntables then I, a 22 year old with access to technology just at the tip of my finger, should be doing even better.

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