Friday, April 6, 2012

Jon Siskel presents...

In honor of the upcoming appearance of filmmaker, Jon Siskel and the screening of his film Louder Than a Bomb on Wednesday, April 11th, I am re-posting a blog entry from a year ago. I was excited to share my discovery then, and even more excited that this event will be here at the library. Get more details from our events calendar.

February 2011

I can't wait to buy the film Louder Than a Bomb for the library.

I just saw this documentary on the big screen. In the same genre as Spellbound,Wordplay, and Triviatown, this film focuses on a competition. In this case, a Chicago based high school poetry slam. I feel self-conscious even trying to craft a description of the movie after hearing the words of these young people who created works of art with their minds and their voices.

No review can prepare you for the feeling of awe inspired by these young people. They are so talented and they work so hard. Strings of words and feelings, sometimes performed at breakneck speeds, sometimes performed with comic timing, sometimes solo, sometimes in unison, stories of family, stories of experience, stories in metaphor.

I'd like to say the film itself is nothing compared to the teens' work but that may be a simplistic view. The filmmakers let us get to know the individual stories of a few of the most talented individuals and their teams. Clearly their stories are edited with finesse based on the empathy they elicit from the viewer( especially this viewer).

The Young Chicago Authors group organizes the competition, "a safe and judgment free outlet where kids from all over the city can share stories and break stereotypes, challenging themselves and their audience,” as decribed by author and LTAB co-founder and artistic director Kevin Coval. “For three minutes at a time the students speak about their lives, but for the other eighty-seven minutes, they are listening to the lives and stories and dreams of others.”

The good thing is you don't have to wait to see the film. The competition is coming up and it is open to the public. Click here for the full schedule.

Unfortunately, no date yet for the release on DVD. In the meantime, try these other docs showcasing competitions and contests.

Mad Hot Ballroom
Pucker Up The Fine Art of Whistling

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