Slam by Richard Stratton

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Directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Marc Levin, Slam came in under the radar to become the surprise hit of Sundance. A gritty, inspiring portrait of urban poverty and the redemptive power of art, "Slam . . . seizes hold of your imagination", wrote Sundance juror Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly. "It's the kind of movie that makes you believe in movies".

Set in a war-zone housing project known as Dodge City and in the infamous Washington, D.C., city jail, Slam tells the story of Ray Joshua, a talented young poet and rapper who is busted on petty drug charges and sucked into the black hole of the criminal justice system. In jail, Ray meets Lauren, a volunteer teaching a writing class for prisoners. She encourages Ray m use his gift to give voice to the anguish of a generation of young men who have been thrown away.

Slam: The Book is more than just a screenplay. It also contains the poetry featured in the film, as well as behind-the-scenes filmmakers' and actors' diaries telling the story of the making of Slam in a two-week guerrilla shoot inside the walls of the D.C. jail and on the killing streets of the Anacostia housing projects in southeast Washington, D.C.


About Richard Stratton

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Kim Wozencraft is the author of the internationally bestselling novel, "Rush," which was made into a feature film starring Jennifer Jason Leigh. She was executive editor at "Prison Life" magazine, has written for HBO Films, and has had her work appear in "The Best American Essays," "Texas Monthly," "New York Newsday," the "Los Angeles Times," and numerous literary magazines and anthologies. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University and lives in New York with her husband and their three children.
Published October 1, 1998 by Grove Press. 288 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Spoken-word performer Saul Williams, who plays the film's protagonist, provides one of the book's few highlights, riffing lyrically and unself-consciously on the task of making a movie ""in the 'hood."" (Sept.) FYI: Slam will be released simultaneously with the a Trimark movie, a soundtrack from ...

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