Spoken Word (USA 2009, 116 min, dir: Victor Nunez, cast: Kuno Becker, Ruben Blades, Persia White).
No modern film I can remember is about poetry. Not the kind you read in high school English class, but the slam poetry that is a form of rap with rhythm but no melody. Spoken Word attempts to supply the melody.
Cruz (Kuno Becker) is a west coast poet living sensually with girl friend Shea (Persia White) and teaching poetry to high school kids. He gets a phone call from New Mexico saying his father (Ruben Blades) is dying of cancer and he must come home.
The film has all the usually suspected traumas of returning home again; including alcohol and drugs. Somehow it all looks like a lot cleaner when you throw the empty bottles against adobe walls that look out over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
What distinguishes Spoken Word is not story words, but poetry words. Cruz speaks them eloquently to articulate his journey. The words belong to the poet Joe Ray Sandoval, who collaborated on the screenplay. But the movie belongs to director Victor Nunez.
He specializes in small stories supplying much feeling but not much conflict. Ulee’s Gold, Ruby in Paradise, and Gal Young ‘Un are other good examples. It is not easy to be the go to filmmaker for offbeat, sentimental subjects and Nunez is kind of the Sundance pro.
Like many Nunez movies, you keep waiting in Spoken Word for something to happen and then realize, at the end, that it already did.The journey is the objective, the poetry is the force, and this small movie is as gold as the honey that Ulee makes it his backyard honeypot.Link to this Post: http://www.moviewithme.com/blog/archives/2313