Poet as Subject: Louder Than a Bomb

Moving Picture Alphabet Series
Friday, February 1, 2013 - 7:00pm

Introduction and Q&A by director Greg Jacobs; Q&A and performance by poet Nathaniel Marshall.

Louder than a Bomb takes its name from Chicago’s youth poetry slam, the largest in the world with over 600 participants annually. Focusing on four teams from area high schools, the film documents the trials and tribulations of the poets' creative processes (collaborative by design), their thunderous live performances, and the ways that, in the filmmakers’ words, “writing shapes their world, and vice versa.” Winner of multiple awards, including the Audience Choice Award and Special Jury Prize at the Chicago International Film Festival.

(Greg Jacobs & Jon Siskel, 2010, video, 100 min)

Nate Marshall is from the South Side of Chicago. He is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan and received his BA at Vanderbilt University. He was featured in Louder Than A Bomb and on HBO’s Brave New Voices. His work has appeared in The Nashville Review, Muzzle Magazine, Vinyl Poetry, The Spoken Word Revolution Redux, and Learn Then Burn, among others. Nate has been a teaching artist with Young Chicago Authors, InsideOut Detroit, and Southern Word, and is the founder of the Lost Count Scholarship Fund that promotes youth violence prevention in Chicago. Nate has performed poetry at venues and universities across the US, Canada, and South Africa, and is also a rapper.

Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Greg Jacobs is the co-founder of Chicago-based Siskel/Jacobs Productions. A graduate of Yale University, he has a master's degree in history from Ohio State, and is the author of Getting Around Brown: Desegregation, Development, and the Columbus Public Schools.

Moving Picture Alphabet Series
Poets have long been drawn to the formal qualities of cinema––its motion, its scale, its imagery, its temporality. The poet Vachel Lindsay found in film the purest expression of “the human soul in action”; Frank O’Hara famously pleaded, “Mothers of America / let your kids go to the movies!” What’s far less discussed is the influence of poetry on filmmaking. This series attempts to redress this imbalance with films that encompass a wide variety of interactions between filmmakers and poets. Over the course of four Friday evenings, the contours of the “poetic film”––an overused and underexamined term in critical discourse––will resolve into a fuller historical specificity. Receptions will follow the screenings.

Curated by Richard Davis (Ph. D. student, EALC/CMS) and Stephanie Anderson (Ph.D. student, English) as a project of the Film Studies Center Graduate Student Curatorial Program. Co-sponsored by The Arts Council, The Film Studies Center, Renaissance Society, Chicago Studies, Poetry & Poetics Workshop, Poem Present and Mass Cultures Workshop.