Hot off the announcement that it’s the opening selection for this year’s TIFF Midnight Madness lineup, Joseph Kahn’s Bodied released its first teaser (via the Fest’s Twitter Account). Produced by Eminem (whelp), even the basic logline raises this writer’s eyebrows in disbelief: “a progressive graduate student finds success and sparks outrage when his interest in battle rap as a thesis subject becomes a competitive obsession.”
Oh word? With all the shouting about cultural appropriation and camera angles leering at hip hop obsessed suburban white kids this spot contains, it doesn’t feel like too much of a stretch to wonder just how upset Bodied is going to make people. Kahn’s worked in the music industry for years (as one of its last truly great video auteurs), and has long been outspoken on issues regarding race and privilege.
When you combine the Korean American writer/director’s unique perspective with the fact that the movie’s being produced by Adi Shankar (Netflix’s Castlevania) – who referred to the film as a “satire” in a THR mini-interview earlier today – Bodied looks as if it’s trying to push some hot topic buttons. Kahn’s Detention is one of the more audacious pictures made during the last decade, and the cast (which includes battle rappers like “Dumbfounded”) is a mish mash of bizarre (Anthony Michael Hall? Oh, OK).
Will Bodied be any good? If the trailer’s any indication, we have no fucking idea, as a battle rapper gets wild on a cowering white nerd for most of it. Judge for yourself below. Hopefully, we get Bodied at Fantastic Fest and have a review for y’all to read in the next few months.