Shocking news that strikes at the center of cultural consciousness today, Adam “MCA” Yauch has died at the age of 47. The exact cause is not known, but Yauch had gone through surgery and radiation therapy for a cancerous parotid gland and lymph node back in 2009.
Of course he’ll forever be best known as one of The Beastie Boys. But he was also a major supporter and producer of incredibly necessary nonfiction works. He directed the audience-sourced Beastie concert film Awesome: I…Shot That! (as “Nathanial Hornblower”) — which and the riveting basketball doc Gunnin’ for That #1 Spot. Earlier he served as an executive producer of Free Tibet, a documentary of the 1996 Tibetan Freedom Concert and the cause itself.
Gunnin’ was also the first film release from Yauch’s Oscilloscope Laboratories, a company originally set up as a music studio and record label. Through Oscilloscope he would continue to distribute nonfiction and fiction indies. Some of the important docs they’ve put out (either theatrically or on video) include Oscar nominees If a Tree Falls, The Garden, Exit Through the Gift Shop and Burma VJ.
More Oscilloscope docs: Dear Zachary, FLOW, Scott Walker: 30th Century Man, No Impact Man, A Film Unfinished, Bananas!, I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale, Dark Days, Rebirth, The Other F Word and the upcoming releases Samsara, Chasing Ice and Shut Up and Play the Hits!
Yauch can also be seen in the new nonfiction films Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap and Bad Brains: A Band from DC.
Documentary Channel has Awesome: I…Shot That! scheduled for this Sunday morning at 3:00am. You can also watch the entire film for free on the DOC website. Burma VJ will next air on May 14.
Our sincere thanks to Yauch and his legacy, and our deepest condolences to his family, friends, partners and all the people at Oscilloscope. Rest in Peace, MCA!
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