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Poetry DVD Review:

Graffiti Verite '7

by Bryan World Productions LLC

graffiti verite '7Spoken Word is an often misunderstood art form. One viewing of "Graffiti Verite '7" should clear up all misunderstanding for those who pay close attention.

More than just two hours of pure poetry, Bryan World Production's "Graffiti Verite '7" is a hip-hopumentary of a world class order, a documentary that walks inside the universe of hip hop and Spoken Word and gets to the heart of it without pulling the soul out from underneath. With interviews and visual cues interspersed with the lines and verses of the featured poets themselves - sometimes in performance and sometimes during bouts of inspiration - Director Bob Bryan delivers a thoughtful and provocative look at Spoken Word as an art form as well as a lifestyle.

Focusing primarily on Los Angeles-based Spoken Word poets and their hip hop counterparts, "Graffiti Verite '7" highlights the joys and disappointments of several poets that operate on this level, some of them National Poetry Slam winners, and brings the artists to viewers intelligently and vibrantly. The audience not only gets to the work of the poets as it is being created, but she also gets to know them personally through their own unique interests.

Poets featured in the two-hour film include: Not all of the poetry shared in "Graffiti Verite '7" is good. Some of it, like a lot of Spoken Word, is hackneyed and banal, but some of it is damn good, both as poetry and as performance. It's easy to see why the Slam winners were winners.

The real value in "Graffiti Verite '7", though, is not in the poetry but in the artists and the candid discussions they get into about their poetry, creation habits, and their lives. The artists share intimate details about themselves, including medical conditions, lifestyle choices, and even their own failures, as well as the poetry writing process and the reasons they write.

Bryan manages to hold his audience's interest through great camera angles, visual movement, background images and music, and a host of other multimedia effects. The film is professionally made and I highly recommend it for anyone, from the up-and-coming Spoken Word artist, the wannabe hip hop stars, rappers, and, yes, even academics. In fact, I'd say that most academics should watch the film just to gain a better understanding of how Spoken Word artists use their time to craft their poems and put together their performances.

There is some strong language in the film and scenes unsuitable for minor audiences, but if you want a real sincere look into the minds and lives of contemporary Spoken Word poets then there are few other places where you'll get that as straightforwardly. "Graffiti Verite '7" isn't perfect, but as a documentary, it works.

Order your copy of

"Graffiti Verite '7"
by Bryan World Productions LLC


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