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Public Enemy's No. 1 fan

Roxbury filmmaker Robert Patton-Spruill's documentary about Public Enemy (above) is getting attention. Roxbury filmmaker Robert Patton-Spruill's documentary about Public Enemy (above) is getting attention. (Walter Leaphart)
Email|Print| Text size + By Carol Beggy & Mark Shanahan
Globe Staff / December 29, 2007

More than just a movie, "Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome" has been a labor of love for director Robert Patton-Spruill. "There I was standing next to my idol," the Roxbury filmmaker says of working with Public Enemy's formidable frontman, Chuck D. "There are so many shots where I'm standing there with the dumbest grin on my face." Five years in the making, the feature-length documentary is generating plenty of buzz even before it hits the film festival circuit. (Variety calls it "intimate, powerful, politically astute, and absorbing . . . packing more energy than 12 standard-issue music documentaries combined.") A big fan of PE while growing up in Brookline, Patton-Spruill met Chuck D in 1999 and later made a few music videos for the group. "The message is what got me. They're very aggressive, almost punk," he says. "And musically I totally connected with them." The film includes interviews and ample concert footage, as well as testimony from famous Public Enemy fans such as Henry Rollins, Talib Kweli, Tom Morello, DMC, and Korn's Jonathan Davis. No, Patton-Spruill does not ignore Flavor Flav's unfortunate foray into reality TV, or the strain that it has put on his relationship with Chuck D. "They have a fragile relationship," says Patton-Spruill. "It's kind of like a father and a teenage son thing, but it works itself out." Asked what he's hoping to achieve with the film, the director told us: "I want to make sure the world knows this group is more relevant than ever."

Does he get fries with that prize?
Fans of Dana Carvey's classic "Saturday Night Live" skit "Choppin' Broccoli" should enjoy Scott Robinson's new tune. That's because Robinson, a carpenter and part-time musician from Hull, has written a jingle for Wendy's using sounds recorded in one of the fast-food joint's kitchens. So sizzling is his track that it won Wendy's "Baconator Sound Bites" contest, earning Robinson $5,000. "There's only so much you can do with the sound of a spatula or a slurping straw," said Robinson, whose song is posted at ThisIsMy Burger.com. "But I did what I could using the samples I had to work with." (In all, there were 54 sounds to choose from, including fries frying, a stomach growling, and condiments squirting.) Robinson's submission was tweaked by a producer, who added a rap by the LA-based Shot Callaz. So does Robinson actually eat at Wendy's? "Sure, I do," he said, sounding a bit disingenuous. "They have good, um, Caesar salads and baked potatoes."

Green with envy
The superior attitude of New England sports fans is starting to rub people the wrong way. Consider the brawl that broke out online yesterday after Celtics blogger Jeff Clark called the Sacramento Kings, whom the Celts easily defeated Wednesday night, the Sacramento Queens. On Sactownroyalty.com, Kings blogger Tom Ziller shot back: "[The Celtics] are not a flock of untouchable clergymen. If they want flap their gums at Ron Artest and Francisco Garcia, they will receive gum-flapping in return. This was a way of pointing out the subtle reasons most of the country dislikes Boston sports fans." Clark later apologized and said his comment was "probably in poor taste." Celticsblog.com, one of the better edited blogs devoted to Doc Rivers's gang, is not affiliated with the team.

Daddy's dearest
The rest of the country has apparently discovered what some of us already knew: Violet Affleck is a darling girl. The 2-year-old daughter of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner has been voted "cutest celebrity baby" in a new Parade.com poll. The towheaded tyke beat out other A-list offspring, including Suri Cruise, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, and Dannielynn Smith. The pop-culture survey also asked people which politico they'd like to share a deserted island with, and the winner - with 29 percent - was Stephen Colbert. (Never mind that he's a TV personality, not a politician.) The most annoying celeb? Forty-four percent said Rosie O'Donnell; 24 percent said Paris Hilton; 16 percent said Ann Coulter; and 12 percent listed Heather Mills McCartney.

Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.

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