'The Socalled Movie'

Published: September 5th 2010
in Culture » Movies

Socalled (aka Josh Dolgin)

It’s hard to describe Socalled (aka Josh Dolgin) to those who aren’t familiar with him. That’s because the Montreal artist is a singer, pianist, rapper, arranger, producer, composer, filmmaker, magician, cartoonist among other things. The Socalled Movie does a great job at delving deep into the art and life of the musician.


Directed by Garry Beitel, the National Film Board production consists of 18 short films. It’s easy to understand why Beitel would want to make a film about Dolgin, he really is one of a kind. I mean, who else fuses klezmer with hip-hop and funk?


The documentary answers many questions about the artist, such as how he got the name Socalled (after adopting the name Heavy J, a friend started calling him ‘Socalled Heavy J’), how he was introduced to Klezmer music and why he samples from different genres. 


Socalled is an artist who marches to the beat of his own drum and that’s what makes the documentary interesting. “His compass points to a different North” Katie Moore, a friend of Dolgin's who sings on a number of his tracks, says at one point in the film. The movie features a number of artists who have collaborated with Dolgin, including funk legend Fred Wesley of James Brown fame (Wesley was introduced to Klezmer by Dolgin), pianist Irving Fields and clarinetist David Krakauer. 


The Socalled Movie will be screened at the Studio Theatre as part of the Ashkenaz Festival on Sept. 6 at 6:30 p.m. The screening is free.


For more information, visit www.ashkenazfestival.com

Related articles: (The Socalled Movie, movie, Socalled, review, klezmer)

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