Posts Tagged ‘SlamNation’

SlamNation – A Division Between Old And New

Posted 27 Apr 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Essay, Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

SlamNation, USA, 1998

Directed by Paul Devlin

Poet Taylor Mali is arguably the star of Paul Devlin's SlamNation.

“Across North America, spoken word artists are competing in performance poetry contests called SLAMS … ”

For those uninitiated, this is the first explanation of just what Paul Devlin’s 1998 film SlamNation is about. This information comes in the form of an intertitle only after we have caught a few brief glimpses of three of the documentary’s “stars”: iconoclastic firebrand Beau Sia, Slam founder Marc Smith, and supreme strategist and competitor Taylor Mali. The film was shot at the 1996 National Poetry Slam, and premiered two years later at the Sundance Film Festival. With this year’s documentary Louder Than A Bomb (opening in New York May 18) set to introduce a new generation to the art form via its depiction of the Chicago Youth Slam scene, I felt it was a good time to revisit the start of it all, a film that stands as the definitive documentary account of this rapidly growing and changing mode of expression. Read More