Slam tells the story of Ray Joshua, an original, gifted young MC trapped in a war-zone housing project known as Dodge City. Unable to find a job, Ray copes with the despair and poverty of ...
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Private detective John Rosow is hired to tail a man on a train from Chicago to Los Angeles. Rosow gradually uncovers the man's identity as a missing person; one of the thousands presumed ... See full summary »
Slam tells the story of Ray Joshua, an original, gifted young MC trapped in a war-zone housing project known as Dodge City. Unable to find a job, Ray copes with the despair and poverty of his neighborhood by using his wits and verbal talent. Written by
Imprisoned on drug possession charges, a talented rapper is encouraged to use his gift with words to write poetry in this independent drama that won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in its day. Saul Williams is well cast as the flawed young protagonist who believes that racism and the fact that he was not prepared to rat out his friends was what led to him receiving such a long sentence. His rapping is very good too with the film's best scene being a part where he bonds with a nearby cellmate as they rap out a tune together. There is also a memorable (if unrealistic and improbable) segment in which an impromptu burst into emotional rap quells a riot about to break out between rival prison gangs. The key theme of the movie would seem to be that artistic expression can solve problems that violence simply cannot, however, the film has trouble finding focus in the post-jail scenes; Williams and Sonja Sohn (cast as the prison poetry teacher) certainly lack chemistry as potential lovers. The film is pretty interesting though in the jail section of the tale. The way Williams is treated upon arrival vividly brings 'A Clockwork Orange' to mind; scattered slow motion flashbacks with unusual audio effects also give the film a dreamy quality quite appropriate given how the prison experience wakens him up to the harsh realities of a world he has taken for granted.
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