The death of Beastie Boys member Adam 'MCA" Yauch, who died today at age 47 after a long battle with cancer, isn't just being mourned by the music world. The film world also lost a major player.
Yauch directed several Beastie Boys videos (including "Intergalactic"), under the moniker Nathaniel Hornblower, as well as the 2006 Beastie Boys concert movie "Awesome! I F---in' Shot That," which employed footage shot by fans. And he shot the 2011 film "Fight for Your Right Revisited," a take on the band's classic song that premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
He also directed a documentary, "Gunnin' For That #1 Spot" (2008), which followed high-school basketball players in the "Elite 24" all-star game.
But Yauch's greatest gift to independent film could be the founding of Oscilloscope Laboratories, the distribution company he set up in 2008.
Oscilloscope has released some great movies: Kelly Reichert's "Meek's Cutoff" and "Wendy & Lucy," Oren Moverman's "The Messenger" (which netted Woody Harrelson an Oscar nomination), the Allen Ginsberg biopic "Howl," Banksy's art documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop," Lynne Ramsay's "We Need to Talk About Kevin," and such documentaries as "Burma VJ," "A Film Unfinished" and "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front."
At this year's Sundance Film Festival, Oscilloscope picked up several notable titles: Todd Louiso's comedy "Hello, I Must Be Going," Andrea Arnold's revamped "Wuthering Heights," Matt Ross' erotic drama "28 Hotel Rooms," the LCD Soundsytem movie "Shut Up and Play the Hits," and the stunning environmental documentary "Chasing Ice."