Documentary filmmaker Paul Devlin, known for his
ESPN2 extreme sports coverage, directs his lens toward another
intense competition - the National Poetry Slam. Groups from Rhode
Island, Illinois, Austin and New York City use their rapid fire
rhythms to out-poeticize each other to the top. Devlin covers their
rap, from methods and practice to the final slams.
Saul Williams and various street poets
Directed by Paul Devlin. Produced by Paul Devlin and Tom Poole.
- Theatrical Release Date: October 9, 1998
Jump to Locations and Showtimes
arc Smith, a construction worker who founded the National Poetry Slam
12 years ago, describes the annual Portland, Ore., competition as when
"the art of performance and the art of poetry come together." Judging
from Paul Devlin's dynamic documentary, "SlamNation," which opens a
one-week run Friday at the Grande 4-Plex, the delivery counts more than
the message, urgent and eloquent as it may be.
Even so, this intense competition certainly does show how alive and
potent poetry can be. To be sure, certain personalities dominate,
starting with Taylor Mali, a terrific actor who could easily pass as a
Matt Damon-Ben Affleck buddy. Then there's Saul Williams, a lean, intense
African American, whose poetry really does sear; he's so riveting it's
scarcely surprising that he'll soon be seen as a rapper/poet in "Slam,"
winner of the grand jury prize at Sundance. Wittiest is Beau Sia, a
Chinese American film student who imagines a collaboration with Quentin
Tarantino. It could happen. (213) 617-0268. -- Kevin Thomas
BACK TO MOVIES MAIN PAGE
last updated: Tuesday October 20, 1998
This is an editorial profile of a Movie. It represents the point of view of Calendar Live! editors. If there is a Calendar Live! Infosite for this event or location, it will be listed on the left side of the screen.