IMDb > Slam (1998)
Slam
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Slam (1998) More at IMDbPro »

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Slam -- Open-ended Trailer from Trimark

Overview

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7.2/10   1,892 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Marc Levin (story) &
Richard Stratton (story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Slam on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 October 1998 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Words make sense of a world that won't. See more »
Plot:
Slam tells the story of Ray Joshua, an original, gifted young MC trapped in a war-zone housing project known as Dodge City... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
3 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
2/3 of a really good character study, results may vary See more (51 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Saul Williams ... Ray Joshua

Sonja Sohn ... Lauren Bell
Bonz Malone ... Hopha
Lawrence Wilson ... Big Mike
Beau Sia ... Jimmy Huang
Andre Taylor ... China
Momolu Stewart ... Bay (Jail Rapper)
Ron Jones ... Do Wop Cop
Reamer Shedrick ... Do Wop Cop
Allan E. Lucas ... Chief C.O.
Dominic Chianese Jr. ... Officer Dom
Jerome Goldman ... Jail Class Poet 'Why'
DJ Renegade ... Party Poet 'Diminuendo in Blue'
Liza Jessie Peterson ... Slam Poet 'Ice Cream'
Taylor Mali ... Slam Poet 'Like'
Bob Holman ... Slam M.C.
Rhozier Brown ... Public Defender (as Rhozier T. Brown)

Richard Stratton ... Prosecutor

Marion Barry Jr. ... Judge (as Mayor Marion Barry Jr.)
Weusi Baraka ... Weed Buyer
Eddie Black ... Dodge City Crew
Harry Campbell ... Dodge City Crew
Robert Philson ... Dodge City Crew
Daniel M. Favors ... Jail C.O.
Johnny Foye ... Jail C.O.
Jesse Hicks ... Command Center C.O.
Carolyn Morris ... Hallway C.O.
Leonard Thompson Jr. ... Bullpen Inmate (as Leonard A. Thompson Jr.)
Todd Baker ... Bullpen Inmate
Joseph A. Wilson ... Poetry Class (as Joseph Wilson)
Talib Watson ... Thug Life Crew
Kevin Kennedy ... Van Inmate
Donnell Robinson ... Van Inmate

Directed by
Marc Levin 
 
Writing credits
Marc Levin (story) &
Richard Stratton (story)

Sonja Sohn (written by) &
Marc Levin (written by) &
Bonz Malone (written by) &
Saul Williams (written by) &
Richard Stratton (written by)

Produced by
Henri M. Kessler .... executive producer
Henri M. Kessler .... producer
Marc Levin .... producer
David Peipers .... executive producer
Daphne Pinkerson .... associate producer
Richard Stratton .... producer
 
Original Music by
DJ Spooky 
 
Cinematography by
Mark Benjamin 
 
Film Editing by
Emir Lewis 
 
Sound Department
John Bowen .... adr editor
Neil Cedar .... dialogue editor
Philippe Desloovere .... sound designer
Rick Dior .... sound re-recording mixer
John Hassler .... foley artist
David Hocs .... sound
David Jaunai .... sound re-recording mixer
David Jaunai .... sound
Ray Palagy .... sound designer
Tony Slocum .... dialogue editor
Rick Wessler .... foley artist
 
Special Effects by
Jeremy Saulnier .... special effects makeup
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Tony Hardmon .... assistant camera
John Kirby .... second assistant camera
John Kirby .... still photographer
Daphne Pinkerson .... videographer
 
Editorial Department
Brian Cotnoir .... additional editor
Michael Yetter .... negative cutter
 
Music Department
Julianne Jordan .... music supervisor (as Julianne Kelley)
Ricky Leigh Mensh .... music consultant
Tony Pipitone .... music editor
Manish Raval .... music coordinator
Manish Raval .... soundtrack coordinator
Mona Scott-Young .... music consultant (as Mona Scott)
Happy Walters .... music supervisor
Tom Wolfe .... music coordinator
 
Other crew
Rachel P. Goldstein .... assistant to producer
Robert Leaver .... production assistant
Jennifer R. Meagher .... web site designer
Eleni Tsokanos .... production coordinator
Lisa West .... business affairs
Pam Widener .... script editor
 
Thanks
Al Levin .... special thanks
Daniel Levin .... special thanks
Hannah Levin .... in loving memory of (as Hannah A. Levin)
Sara Levin .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for pervasive language, a sex scene and brief violence
Runtime:
100 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Chile:14 | France:U | Iceland:12 | Norway:11 | South Korea:15 (director's cut) | South Korea:12 (video rating) (cut) | Spain:13 | Sweden:11 | UK:15 | USA:R (certificate #35994)

Did You Know?

Goofs:
Continuity: When Ray is on his way to the poetry night, he gets on the metro at the Cleveland Park station, rides, and gets off at the metro at the same station: Cleveland Park.See more »
Quotes:
Ray Joshua:My niggaz are dyin' before their time. My niggaz are servin' unjust time. My niggaz are dying because of... time.See more »
Soundtrack:
The ParkSee more »

FAQ

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
2/3 of a really good character study, results may vary, 14 June 2004
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

In Marc Levin's Slam, perhaps the greatest asset he and cinematographer Mark Benjamin bring is the documentary-style to this urban-based drama. For the first few minutes of the film, I thought this would be a documentary. In a sense, when I realized when it wasn't it was a letdown, because even though this is a close-to-life depiction story of a kid in the ghettos of Washington DC, somehow if it really was a documentary it might've been even more compelling. As it is, Slam is a very naturalistic first-person drama, and the film deals with a protagonist that isn't hard to identify with, even when things seem a little over-done or even when it's a little naïve.

Basic story in two sentences – Raymond Joshua (Saul Williams, also one of the film's co-writers) is set up to go to prison for pot, and while in prison he meets a few people that recognize his skills as a writer and poet.

When he gets out he wants to hold on to the freedom he knows he can attain, but he doesn't know how. With this conflict, Raymond is a character that is recognizable and identifiable with the audience. And with this, Williams creates a constantly believable performance even when his character may not sound entirely believable or realistic.

Although the performances are a plus for the film's success, such as Bonz Malone as Hopha, and Sonja Sohn as the writing teacher/poet Lauren, for me the style over-passed the substance. Though the poetry was inspired and the poets in the film who spoke them were very good, some of the story elements were not as effective as they could've been. For example, there's a blind-men analogy when Raymond gets out of jail and sees that his pot-dealer friend, who got shot, is now blind. Raymond is morally in the right in their final scene together, but it's a little too thick of a message for my taste when Raymond says, 'I once was blind too, now I can see.' Williams' poetry (which I assume he wrote himself) is interesting, although it's his delivery that catches my ear over the content. In a pivotal scene his poetry saves him from a beating in the prison yard, yet somehow it doesn't feel as real as some of the other scenes, like with him and Malone's character.

As I said, the style was what held the film, especially for such a low budget. I loved the use of the hand-held, shaky mis-en-scene, as though someone was allowed to peek into the atmosphere of DC. And from a psychological standpoint, Levin seems to extract what the essence is of Raymond and his neighborhood. Through his usage grainy color and then to a 8mm camcorder for flashbacks from Raymond, I felt the emotional impact that Levin was going for, the mix of disorientation and of being in a free-fallin' kind of society where you don't know what can happen next. I just wished that I saw more of that with the characters and the story. Cool ending though. B

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