Louder Than a Bomb

(2010)

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Review: Louder Than a Bomb

Transcript for Review: Louder Than a Bomb

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
OUR NEXT MOVIE IS "LOUDER THAN A BOMB," A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT CHICAGO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS COMPETING IN AN ANNUAL CITYWIDE POETRY SLAM.

DIRECTORS GREG JACOBS AND JON SISKEL – THAT WOULD BE THE NEPHEW OF GENE SISKEL – FOLLOW TEAMS FROM FOUR SCHOOLS AS THEY HEAD FOR THE YEARLY SHOWDOWN.

ONE TEAM IS FROM STEINMETZ, A TROUBLED INNER CITY SCHOOL WHICH SURPRISINGLY WON IN ITS FIRST TIME IN COMPETITION LAST YEAR.

THEN THERE'S NATE, WHO WRITES ABOUT HOW HE WANTS TO ESCAPE HIS TROUBLED NEIGHBORHOOD.

CLIP FROM “LOUDER THAN A BOMB”
>> I AM LEBRON JAMES,  HIS BIGGEST FAN.
[LAUGHTER]
>> AND I AM WRITING THIS FOR ALL THOSE SPECTATORS WATCHING NOT BY CHOICE, BUT BY HATRED.

CHRISTY:
THEN THERE'S NOVA, WHO SPEAKS VIVIDLY ABOUT HER PARENTS' DIVORCE AND HER DIFFICULT HOME LIFE.

CLIP FROM “LOUDER THAN A BOMB”
>> BECAUSE YOU WOULD ALWAYS ASK ME TO MAKE YOUR DRINKS,  MEASURE LIQUID WITH MY FINGERS, FOUR FINGERS OF GIN, TWO TONIC, ONE LEMON JUICE. I GREW OLDER AND I SAID I CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE.

CHRISTY:
AND THEN THERE'S THE DRAMATIC ADAM, WHO’S BELOVED BY THE SLAM AUDIENCES FOR HIS INFECTIOUS JOY.

CLIP FROM “LOUDER THAN A BOMB”
>> THEN MY DOG SAYS POETS BREED NOW BECAUSE IT'S THE LAST THING YOU'LL EVER DO FOR YOURSELF.

CHRISTY:
I ADMIRE THESE KIDS FOR THE DEDICATION TO THEIR CRAFT AND THEIR CANDOR, BUT I'M NOT SURE I WANT TO LISTEN TO A WHOLE LOT MORE OF THEIR POETRY, AND A LOT OF IT IS I AM JUST NOT A FAN OF SLAM POETRY, AND THE PERFORMANCE FELT RELENTLESS AND OFTEN SHRILL TO ME.  BY THE END, I DIDN'T CARE WHO WON.  I'M SORRY.

IGNATIY:
REALLY? THAT'S, KIND OF, A PETTY REASON TO DISLIKE SOMETHING.

CHRISTY:
REALLY?

IGNATIY:
YEAH.

CHRISTY:
COULD YOU SIT THROUGH ALL THE POETRY AND ENDURE IT AND NOT FEEL LIKE TEARING YOUR HAIR OUT OF YOUR HEAD?

IGNATIY:
YES, AND I DON'T LIKE SLAM POETRY AT ALL.

CHRISTY:
AND POETRY IS THE WHOLE, CENTRAL, NUGGETY THING TO IT 

IGNATIY: 
I THINK THAT'S NOT TRUE. I DON'T THINK THAT'S REALLY WHAT THIS MOVIE IS ABOUT. I THINK IT'S ABOUT, KIND OF, THIS COMMUNITY, AND THE WAY THESE GROUPS OF PEOPLE COME TOGETHER.

THE POETRY IS REALLY JUST WINDOW DRESSING, IT’S REALLY JUST AN EXCUSE TO, KIND OF, EXPLORE THIS DYNAMIC AMOUGNST YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WANT TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES.

CHRISTY:
BUT THE WHOLE STRUCTURE OF – YOU'RE FOLLOWING SEVERAL DIFFERENT PEOPLE UNTIL THEY GET TO THE BIG COMPETITION – HAS BEEN DONE BEFORE, REPEATEDLY AND BETTER, IN THINGS LIKE "SPELLBOUND," ABOUT THE NATIONAL SPELLING BEE, OR “MAD, HOT BALLROOM” -- 

IGNATIY:
NOW, DO YOU FIND SPELLING BEES INTERESTING?

CHRISTY:
I ACTUALLY DO.  OR “MAD, HOT BALLROOM” WHICH IS ABOUT BALLROOM DANCING, THE SAME THING, WITH KIDS, WHO ARE ALL – WE’RE FOLLOWING THEM AND ALL THEIR PATHS.  AND AGAIN, WE GET TO KNOW THEM THAT WAY, WHICH IS TREMENDOUS.  WE NEED TO DO THAT. I JUST FIND IT A LITTLE ANNOYING.

IGNATIY:
BUT, YOU KNOW, MOVIES ALLOW US TO, YOU KNOW, FIND THINGS, THAT WE'RE NORMALLY NOT INTERESTED IN, INTERESTING.  THEN DO YOU THINK THE FILM – IF YOU FIND IT MOVING, THEN HOW CAN YOU THINK THAT THE FILM IS A FAILURE?

CHRISTY:
I FOUND THEIR STORIES MOVING, BUT ULTIMATELY THE POETRY OVERRIDES WHAT I SAW.

IGNATIY:
AS MUCH AS I DISLIKE SLAM POETRY, I THINK IT'S  IT DOESN'T DRAG THE FILM DOWN AS FAR AS YOU THINK IT DOES.

CHRISTY:
IT MAKES IT REALLY HARD TO WATCH.