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TK's MORNING BUZZ: Xenon Entertainment's Moment in the Sun is a Stark Documentary Walk on the Wild Side of Rap in 'Welcome to Death Row'

26 Oct, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

With all the talk lately about DVD power sellers like Snow White, the Godfather trilogy, The Mummy Returns and The Phantom Menace, I'd like to turn the spotlight on a most deserving little title by a most deserving little company.

Xenon Entertainment, it's your moment in the sun. Welcome to Death Row, astark documentary on the famous rap label, has been riding high on the videocharts of select retailers since its release Sept. 25. The documentary, personally directed by Xenon chief Leigh Savidge, has gone as high as No. 2 at Tower Records and Video, No. 3 at Best Buy and No. 8 at Blockbuster. Iteven cracked the national Top 100, peaking at No. 38 on VideoScan's top VHSsellers.

Taking a cue from Fox, Disney and Universal, Xenon proudly issued its own press release announcing the success of Welcome to Death Row, maintaining that retailers around the country say they underbought the title, in light of its continued heavy demand.

"In the midst of servicing reorders to video retailers, Xenon continues to widen the exposure for Welcome to Death Row with national radio give-aways and an international festival presence," the company says.

Next up on the festival circuit: A Nov. 1 showing at the Jamerican Film Festival in Kingston, Jamaica.

Good going, guys. In these times of DVD records being set and broken by high-profile studio releases, it's heartening to hear an independent is also doing well, particularly with as ambitious and intriguing a release as Welcome to Death Row. I've watched it -- an excited Leigh Savidge sent me a copy as soon as it was ready -- and let me tell you, this is really something.

To borrow a word frequently tossed about in DVD circles, it's truly an "immersive" experience in the heady, heavy world of rap, a video culture shock that fully deserves all the attention it appears to be getting atretail -- and from consumers.

Let the big boys crow about their marquee DVDs. I'll cheer just as loudly for the little guys and their cassette.

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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