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Tupac: The Resurrection

Tupac :: Resurrection
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Tupac :: Resurrection
Tupac :: Resurrection
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Year:
2004
Distributor: UIP
Running Time: 100mins
Release Date: 2nd July
Certificate: unknown
Tupac :: Resurrection
Tupac :: Resurrection
Tupac :: Resurrection

“This is my story, a story about ambition, violence, redemption and love.” -Tupac Shakur

Celebrating the life of Tupac Shakur, one of the top-selling hip-hop artists of all time. TUPAC: RESURRECTION explores Shakur’s life viscerally and dramatically through his own words and music, as well as through vivid images of the world as he experiences it. The film carefully mines video archives to expose the brilliant storyteller that Shakur was during interviews and in personal conversations throughout his life. In his own words, Shakur powerfully takes viewers with him throughout the happiness and the sadness of his childhood, through the ups and downs of his professional career, through his romances and his life-altering mistakes, and finally, through the lessons he has learned.

Not merely a commemoration of his life and artistry, TUPAC: RESURRECTION explores honestly and openly Shakur’s many complexities. It examines the artist’s gifts, passions and conflicts, and unravels the mystique of his life by looking at those who influenced him early on. An intimate portrait of a young man who rose from a life of adversity into a global icon who touched millions of lives, TUPAC: RESURRECTION is the only film made in collaboration with Shakur’s mother, former Black Panther Afeni Shakur.

It is also the only film told entirely in his own words. Visually stunning, this inspirational life story features never-before-seen concert footage, private home movies and excerpts from Tupac’s poetry and journals, all of which serve to create a very personal portrayal of a sensitive, passionate and often provocative artist who died before his time. In addition, the film features a soundtrack of Shakur’s best-selling music, as well as all new music by Biggie Smalls, Eminem, 50 Cent and Shakur himself, who currently ranks among the top 40 best selling artists of all time, with more than 33.5 million records sold to date.

ABOUT THE STORY

Born in New York City on June 16, 1971, Tupac Amaru Shakur, named after Tupac Amaru, an Inca Indian that was sentenced to death by the Spaniards, meant many things to many people. With an ability to attract individuals from all worlds, the celebrated artist lived his life larger than life, and to this day, his fans are still trying to put together the myriad pieces of his complex universe.

Driven by the music Tupac created and the revolutionary ideas he voiced, director Lauren Lazin explores the very soul of Shakur in “Tupac: Resurrection.” By examining the artist’s own words and deftly using his own voice, Lazin illuminates Shakur’s life, highlighting his highs and lows and delving into the experiences that shaped his message and music.

“When we set out to make this film, we didn’t want to do a simple chronological portrait”, says Lazin. “We wanted to show the honest, charismatic individual that Tupac was, and reveal how, in his short 25 years on earth, he developed into a person of great insight”.

According to Lazin, the reason they were able to fashion such a personal piece is because Tupac was so deeply reflective and loved doing interviews. “Anytime anybody would ask him to talk about something, he truly thought about his answer and spoke from his heart”, recalls the Emmy-nominated director. “We also have a lot of footage from MTV because the executives there understood very early on that Tupac was headed for something big, that he was going to have an important place in the hip-hop world”.

Even the graphic look of the film is touched by the artist, as Lazin was able to use Tupac’s own handwriting (taken from his journals and poetry) to create the title treatments, thereby infusing his energy throughout the entire film. In fact, one of the main reasons for the heartfelt intimacy of “Tupac: Resurrection” is because his mother, Afeni Shakur, was involved in the film every step of the way. She says it was extremely important that her son’s story be told in his own words.

“I’ve always felt that no one could speak for Tupac or explain his life better than Tupac himself,” says Mrs. Shakur. “We are absolutely elated with how this all came together and I think the power of Tupac’s own voice is really going to empower people. I know he has always touched me with his truth and even taught me a lot. As an adult, to have someone so young teach you, well, there’s just nothing better than that”.

INFLUENCING A GENERATION

Truth - that’s what many of Tupac Shakur’s contemporaries believe drove his music and his life. It’s the reason why his music has endured and it’s the principle he stood for in the face of adversity. It is the very backbone of who Tupac was as an artist and as a man.

Grammy winner Snoop Dogg, remembers that Tupac never let anyone change him and always remained true to his beliefs. “That’s one of the things that I loved and respected about Pac - he was always himself and his music was always real. It came straight from the heart, so you could actually feel the words he was saying. What I mean is, he came from a hard background, he lived the struggle that he sings about, so people know that he’s not somebody just rappin’ about something he doesn’t know about, and that’s why I think his songs really continue to matter to people. They’re about real situations”.

According to top-selling rap artist 50 Cent, Tupac Shakur will always be significant because his music was the kind that many different people could embrace. “His words had a lot of spirituality to them, which helped people listen to his music, people that might have ordinarily been scared off by rap,” says 50 Cent, who credits Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur with instilling her son with the moral fibre that allowed him to rise above hardship and help others in the process. “He wasn’t afraid to say anything and that’s why he made such a big influence on people”.

Actor Marlon Wayans, who starred with Shakur in the critically acclaimed film “Above the Rim”, also attributes Afeni Shakur with creating the foundation from which Tupac developed his political activism. “His mama didn’t raise a gangsta, she raised an intellect”, observes Wayans. “When he tapped into who he really was, he started speaking to a whole generation, just like Martin Luther King or Malcom X spoke to generations before. When Pac talked, you listened and people will keep listening as long as there’s people struggling”.

A lifelong friend of Tupac’s since she met him at the Baltimore School for the Arts, Jada Pinkett-Smith says that Shakur also crossed racial barriers and reached black and white audiences alike. “Passion is not black or white, and that’s what Tupac had - the passion to uplift”, remembers Pinkett-Smith. “He had the strength to show his vulnerability, to reveal pain and loss and love. There is nobody, nobody like that man”.

FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS TO AN UNDYING LEGACY

Beginning with the childhood poverty Tupac experienced in New York, Baltimore and Marin City, California, the story profiles his mother, Afeni Shakur, and the powerful influence that she had on his understanding of himself and of the world. The film also explores Tupac’s childhood exposure to the arts, and the role it played in his artistic and spiritual development. From his early, happy moments touring the world with Digital Underground as a dancer and roadie, to later more controversial times, the film follows the dramatic and often-rocky path Shakur traveled during his 25 years.

And now, Tupac’s legacy lives on. His impact on the artistic and musical communities is undeniable, but today his spirituality and activism are overtaking the “thug life” persona he once represented. Seven years after his death on September 13, 1996, Shakur’s work is being discovered and resurrected by a whole new generation of fans of all ages, races and nationalities, who deeply feel the passion of his music and philosophy as it spreads worldwide. In fact, a 1999 posthumous publication of Shakur’s poetry, entitled The Rose That Grew From the Concrete (MTV Books/Pocket Books), has been published in four different languages, in order to accommodate the tremendous international demand to share in his insight.

To be sure, Tupac Shakur had something to say, and through “Tupac: Resurrection” the artist’s dream of leaving something behind comes true.

In the event of my Demise
when my heart can beat no more
I Hope I Die For A Principle
or A Belief that I had lived 4
I will die Before My Time
Because I feel the shadow’s Depth
so much I wanted 2 accomplish
before I reached my Death
I have come 2 grips with the possibility
And wiped the last tear from My eyes
I loved All who were Positive
In the event of my Demise

- Tupac Shakur

ABOUT THE MUSIC

The history of Tupac Shakur’s tremendous impact on the music world as the voice of a generation began when he debuted as a solo artist on 1991’s gold album, 2Pacalypse Now, followed by 1993’s platinum album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. The double platinum Me Against The World, in 1995, debuted at #1 and spawned the platinum single “Dear Mama.” In 1996, the first original double album in hip-hop history, All Eyez On Me, debuted at #1 and went platinum eight times, while “How Do U Want It/California Love” became a double platinum single.

Now, with the release of the soundtrack album for the film “Tupac: Resurrection,” that includes 13 tracks, 4 of which are previously unreleased, Tupac’s influence and significance in the world of hip-hop lives on. Guest appearances on the album include 50 Cent, The Notorious B.I.G. and the Outlawz. Eminem lends his production talents to two of the tracks, including the first single, “Runnin’ (Dying to Live),” featuring The Notorious B.I.G. and sample lyrics of the Edgar Winter song “Dying to Live,” specifically: Why am I dying to live, if I’m just living to die?

TUPAC’S PLACE IN MUSIC HISTORY

Top Five Best-Selling Rap Artists of All Time:
1. Tupac Shakur -- 35 + Million
2. Beastie Boys -- 21 Million
3. Eminem --20 Million
4. Jay-Z -- 18 Million
5. Hammer -- 16 Million

Tupac’s posthumous albums history:

  • Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (4 x Platinum) - #1 on Pop Chart; #1 on R&B Chart

  • Greatest Hits -- (9 x Platinum) - #1 on R&B Chart

  • Until The End Of Time (3 x Platinum) - #1 on Pop Chart; #1 on R&B Chart

  • R U Still Down? (4 x Platinum)

  • Still I Rise (2 x Platinum)

  • Better Dayz (Platinum)

Posthumous Sales and Top 100 Singles:

  • Before September 13, 1996: Approximately 6 Million and Seven Top 100 Singles

  • After September 13, 1996: Approximately 30 Million and Nine Top 100 Singles

ABOUT THE FILM PRODUCERS

Paramount Pictures Presents an MTV Films-Amaru Entertainment, Inc. Production “Tupac: Resurrection.” Directed by Lauren Lazin, the film is produced by Preston Holmes, Karolyn Ali and Lauren Lazin. The executive producers are Afeni Shakur, Van Toffler and David Gale, and the co-producers are Dina LaPolt and Michael Cole. Richard Calderon serves as the film’s editor and Jon Else is the director of photography.

MTV Films is the feature film development and production division of MTV that releases films in conjunction with Paramount Pictures. Since its inception in 1995, MTV Films established itself as a unique movie label with a slate of diverse and successful films that have grossed a half-billion dollars at the box office. MTV Films has released a dozen films, including “Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat,” the teen romance “Save the Last Dance,” the animated feature “Beavis and Butt-head Do America,” the Academy AwardÒ-nominated and critically acclaimed dark comedy “Election,” the rousing high school football movie “Varsity Blues,” the breakout comedy “The Original Kings of Comedy,” the poignant coming-of-age film “The Wood,” the outrageous comedy “Orange County” and Britney Spears’ debut film “Crossroads,” as well as the hit feature “jackass the movie” and the recently released “The Fighting Temptations,” starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Beyoncé Knowles.

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS

LAUREN LAZIN (Director/Producer) is an award-winning filmmaker who has directed, produced, written and edited more than 40 documentaries for MTV and PBS. Her first feature film, “Tupac: Resurrection,” premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. She made her directorial debut in 1985 with “The Flapper Story,” which premiered at the Museum of Modern Art’s New Directors/New Films series and won a Student Academy Award. Recently, her film “Journey of Dr. Dre” was nominated for two Emmy Awards.

PRESTON HOLMES (Producer) is an industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a producer, assistant director and production manager of documentaries, television movies and feature films. Prior to serving as a producer for MTV Films’ “Tupac: Resurrection,” Holmes served as President of Russell Simmon’s Def Pictures, during which time he developed and produced feature films, such as “How to Be a Player” and “Gridlock’d”.

He also produced and co-produced a wide variety of critical and box office successes including “New Jack City,” “Malcolm X” and “Juice,” among many others. Recently, he produced HBO’s successful original movie “Boycott,” starring Jeffrey Wright as Martin Luther King.

KAROLYN ALI (Producer) has been in the world of music video production since 1984, and has executive-produced several projects with directors Peter Allen and Bill Parker. The team became a powerhouse in the music video and commercial industry as Renge Films, Inc., and later formed Ali/Parker Pictures. To date, Ali has produced over 250 music videos, including Stevie Wonder’s American Music Award-winning song and video, “Part-Time Lover,” and Lakeside’s “Outrageous,” which won a CEBA award.

AFENI SHAKUR (Executive Producer) serves as the founder and CEO of Amaru Entertainment/Amaru Records, and she is also the creator of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation and the Tupac Amaru Center for the Arts, the latter of which is being built on a 10-acre lot in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The Center will offer entertainers, educators and artists from around the world a place to network and nurture their craft.

As founder of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation, Shakur recognizes the role that the arts and cultural education can play in unleashing the creative genius of youth. The Tupac Shakur Foundation’s Summer Camp provides opportunities for young people to pursue their creative and artistic dreams. To date, more than 100 people, ages 12–18, have participated in the annual summer camp, and several participants are currently enrolled in college or employed through the efforts of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation.

Always looking for ways to contribute to the community, Shakur recently held the first annual James Lassiter Golf Tournament, with proceeds benefiting her childhood elementary school in Lumberton, North Carolina. Today, she has embarked upon yet another ambitious goal of building her organic farm called Sunset Ranch.

 

 

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