SXSW Film

Interviews and reviews

Slam Planet: War of the Words

D: Kyle Fuller and Mike Henry

Slam Planet follows two top-notch slam teams from their hometowns of Austin and New York all the way to the titular battle (aka the 2004 National Poetry Slam). So what did co-directors Henry and Fuller teach this dismisser of the slamming arts? I learned that irony doesn't fly in the slam finals, a difficult or oppressive life makes for great slams, and if a slam poet's heart is not on his or her sleeve then it's probably at the mic ... crying. And it is the unceasing emotional output that makes these individuals both great slam poets and perfect subjects for a captivating documentary. And I mean not just captivated by the scads of slam poets in the audience blocking my exit but by the fastidious editing, the understated score by local DJ NickNack, and the inviting graphic design of the film. My advice to the slam-poetry-hating and documentary-loving individual: Enjoy, but escape before the Q&A.

Slam Planet was the runner-up for the Lone Star States Audience Award.

1:30pm, Alamo South Lamar

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