SXSW Film

Daily reviews and interviews

Nerdcore Rising

D: Negin Farsad

One could argue that the Beastie Boys are the true progenitors of nerdcore ("Shadrach, Mesach, Abednago," anyone?), but participants in this now-named genre (originally "nerdcore hip-hop") orbit more specifically around tech and gaming geekery without bothering to aspire to any form of cool. Nerdcore Rising follows the national tour of MC Frontalot (Damian Hess), a polysyllabic rapper who wears a spelunking flashlight and seeks to one day "be both revered and passe like Madonna," backed by a surprisingly capable nerd band. Amid live shots and slo-mo geek strut interludes, the nerdcore nation (including hip-hop producer/crossover nerd Prince Paul and a guy sporting a security-algorithm tee) discusses the nature of nerdery, music downloading, cultural appropriation, and Internet porn addiction. Wookie calls are made, persistent back pain is experienced, and a groupie is acquired; we also witness a time-lapsed, two-hour explanation of Magic: The Gathering. "The goal is to be funny without being a joke," says one fan; Nerdcore Rising walks, and rocks, that line with skills to spare.

Friday, March 14, 1pm, ACC

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