Dir. Franco Rosso, 1980, 91 min.
Babylon is set in South London at the start of the ’80s, a time when reggae music was at its peak, along with a distinctively British brand of xenophobia and racism that saw American boxer Marvin Hagler pelted with bottles at Wembley after beating Alan ‘I’ll never lose to a black man’ Minter. The plot concerns Blue, lead chanter for Ital Lion Sound (played by Aswad singer and former Double Decker Brinsley Forde), in the run-up to a competition with a rival crew led by Jah Shaka (who appears as himself). Over the course of the film Blue socialises with his friends and clashes with his family, employer, and a local clan of racists, before going on a spiritual and physical journey through small hours London where he encounters a series of trials and temptations that set up the film’s violent climax. -Angus Taylor
Babylon Website: http://www.uncarved.org/babylon/?p=59
Audio with Director [kicks in after a long musical intro]: http://www.uncarved.org/mp3/rosso.mp3
Glowing review of Babylon: http://www.britmovie.co.uk/forums/your-favourite-british-films/14274-babylon-1980-franco-rossos-cult-classic.html
KEELING'S CARIBBEAN SHOWCASE
Curated by Keeling Beckford of Keeling's Reggae and Music Video
Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae
Dir. Stascha Bader, 2009, 95 min.
This documentary chronicles the short history of Jamaican Rocksteady music while highlighting its influences on modern Jamaican tunes. Considered a transitional genre between ska and reggae music, Rocksteady enjoyed a short period of popularity from 1966 until 1970 when it was overshadowed by reggae's similar heavy bass sound.