Hip Hop Star Travis Scott makes his debut as a filmmaker in Circus Maximus from A24. Before starting my review, I'll tell you that I'm not a Travis Scott fan. The older I've gotten, the more I realize that some Hip Hop isn't for me. However, seeing that Scott was collaborating with indie filmmaker faves such as Gaspar Noé, Nicolas Winding Refn, Harmony Korine, Kahlil Joseph, and Valdimar Jóhannsson, I decided to look at the film.
Hip Hop documentaries are nothing new, and some artists have a strong enough brand to put a short documentary in theaters, and fans will support it. Kanye West successfully convinced IMAX to show Jesus Is King and Donda 2 in the theater, and now it's Scott's turn. The film acts as a concert experience and a visual spectacle, showcasing Scott's creativity, genius, and ability to captivate audiences. The film opens up with Scott going to meet Rick Rubin, and there are subtle hints of Scott's issues from the past few years.
Shortly after that, Scott immerses viewers in a fantasy world, blending elements of rock concerts, futuristic landscapes, and intense stage performances. Expansive and exquisite sets pave the way for a visually stunning film that matches Scott's live concerts' energetic and infectious atmosphere. Vibrant colors, breathtaking lighting effects, and futuristic visuals heighten the overall experience, making it an audiovisual feast for the senses.
Scott's music takes center stage throughout the movie, with performances of his chart-topping hits and lesser-known deep cuts. His energy to each song is palpable and infectious, creating an electric atmosphere transcending the screen. The innovative camera work and editing techniques fully immerse the audience in the pulsating beats and Scott's energetic stage presence.
The audience I saw the film with seemed to eat up everything that was eating up everything on screen. The film mainly consists of concert footage, so if you were hoping to glimpse Scott's life and creative process, you won't find it here. As someone new to Scott's work, I would have appreciated some behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and commentary to better understand his motivations, inspirations, and the stories behind his music.
Sometimes, moments like that add depth and help viewers connect with Scott on a more personal level. Circus Maximus also needs a cohesive storyline. Although it successfully captures the essence of a live concert experience, it jumps between different performances and interviews. While I'm not about add any of his music to my playlist I will give Scott credit for Circus Maximus. It's clear he has an eye for visuals and he currently has another film in the works so I look forward to seeing what he can do with a more seasoned director.
Final Grade :B-