In most cases, the last person who should be credited as a writer-director-producer (and music producer) for a documentary about a life is the subject himself. But Bobbito García’s industrious DIY hustle is part of his legend. No one else is going to tell his story right!
Rock Rubber 45s chronicles the career of a quintessential New York celeb. Bobbito García first gained attention in the 1980s playing street basketball, then became a preeminent authority on sneaker culture. This penchant for cool-hunting led to a gig at a nascent Def Jam Records, MCing at clubs like the Nuyorican Poets Café, writing columns for The Source and Vibe, and hosting the influential Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show on WKCR-FM. He opened one of the first sneaker boutiques and became a party DJ at clubs without signs.
Footage of all this cuts together really, really well. Moreover, Bobbito is a kind soul with a positive outlook, and he knows how to crack a joke. Still, this entire film, with testimonials from friends/fans like Rosie Perez, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Patti LaBelle, Questlove, and more plays like a campaign video. Weirdest is when the chronology catches up to when Bobbito started making movies about himself (this is his third), and we start seeing clips eerily similar to ones we’ve already watched.
There’s no drama anywhere, unless the story of how he scored a contract with Nike’s marketing department inspires. But Bobbito’s storytelling is infectious, and the scenes of community outreach are heartwarming. May all such vanity projects have such a friendly beat.
Rock Rubber 45s
Written and directed by Bobbito García
Opens June 28, Metrograph
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