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Def Poetry - Season 1 (2004)

Stan Lathan , Danny Hoch  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Def Poetry - Season 1 + Def Poetry - Season 2 + Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry: Season 4
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Product Details

  • Actors: Stan Lathan, Danny Hoch, Russell Simmons, Jessica Care Moore, Mos Def
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: August 31, 2004
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00026L9B6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,188 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Def Poetry - Season 1" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Produced by Russell Simmons and hosted by Mos Def, this groundbreaking HBO series presents poetry for the hip-hop generation. The setting is New York's Supper Club, the performers are young men and women of every hue, and the tools are words: angry, funny--even profane--words. Taped live, each of the four 30-minute episodes from the first season features several poets and a guest or two (from the fiery Last Poets to the out-of-her-element Jewel). This isn't your grandma's traditional verse, but rather slam poetry--or spoken word--as influenced by Public Enemy as Langston Hughes and the evening news. Some are powerful (see Suheir Hammad), some clever (Sarah Jones), and some irritating (Yellow Rage), but each poem is sure to provoke some kind of reaction. Def Poetry would go on to beget a world tour, a Peabody Award and, in its Broadway incarnation, a Tony for best theatrical event. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

From the makers of Russell Simmons's Def Comedy Jam, comes an all-new series that showcases practitioners of one of the country's fastest-rising performing art forms - def poetry - in an intimate, uncensored format. Taped live at The Supper Club in New York, Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry is hosted by popular rap artist Mos Def, and spotlights original material performed by contemporary urban poets and well-known music/comedy artists.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This DVD is definitely a must have for all dvd collectors. As Mos Def stated in a few of the shows, these artists get up there and say things you may already be thinking. They will have you laughing at times, and will have you reflecting on the state of our society at others. As they show clips of the audience, you find every skin tone and age up in there and its a beautiful thing to see them all laughing together and even shedding tears together...It's deep..

Based on my experience from Def Comedy Jam, I was expecting all of the artists to be African American, but Russell mixed it up with Caucasians, Asians and Arabs which was HOT...We never really know how different people look at the world and this gives you a glimpse into what each person sees and what they've been through.

DEFinitely a classic!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food 4 the Soul September 8, 2004
I caught this show on HBO by chance and became a fan instantly. If you are a person who appreciates any kind of art form, you will find true value in these performances. These poems are a window into the different cultures in our world and they allow you to relate to and understand other people and ourselves. This season has 4 episodes. However, I encourage you to also get Season 2 particularly (I have up until Season 3). On Episode 2 Danny Hoch did a piece on 9/11. Simply outstanding! It was at once somber, funny, sarcastic, introspective, sad, in short the most brilliant performance. Same goes to a performance by "Black Ice" which was Hip-Hop, yet anti-gangsta... awesome!! Beau Sia is also incredible with a hyperbolic performance about the "Asian Invasion". They alone make it a must have for anyone with an appreciation for poetry. I must warn you language can be explicit at times.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dvd collection "must have" September 14, 2004
This DVD is wonderful and gives proof that the spoken word is the strongest force out there. Russell Simmons has truly captured and presented a raw form of unbelievable talent of everyday people and those more notable. These poets will touch and pierce your very soul and leave you laughing, crying, mad and happy. After the first episode, you will be hooked.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Def Poets ROCK! December 20, 2005
One of the best shows to ever be seen on HBO. This DVD only has 4 episodes, but it shows that spoken word is definately going somewhere. I didn't fast-forward through any of the poems, which means none of them were stupid or boring. I absolutely love this DVD and would recommend this to ANYBODY who likes Def Poetry...You MUST buy it! It's definately not a waste of money!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TWO THUMBS UP! September 1, 2004
First of all, I got this DVD because I am a poet myself and it really caught my eye walking through the video store. I just viewed it and I recommend any poet or any fan of poetry should watch this DVD...all the poets in this DVD, including Cedric the Entertainer and Dave Chappelle were absolutely amazing...it's Spoken Word and I give it TWO THUMBS UP!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Def Poets ROCK! December 20, 2005
One of the best shows to ever be seen on HBO. This DVD only has 4 episodes, but it shows that spoken word is definately going somewhere. I didn't fast-forward through any of the poems, which means none of them were stupid or boring. I absolutely love this DVD and would recommend this to ANYBODY who likes Def Poetry...You MUST buy it! It's definately not a waste of money!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Job January 18, 2007
By Brownie
I rec'd the item in just a couple of days and was very pleased with the service.. Keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't Hold Up to Multiple Viewings March 18, 2008
I really did like this when I began watching it. The performers are lively and dynamic, with a good quality of poems, enhanced by a committed audience and high production values. But the more I watch it, the more frustrated I become. It just doesn't hold up to multiple viewings.

On first watch, it is good. You might hear that it's a televised poetry performance and think you're going to see the Open Mike Night From Hell, but these poets are experienced performers and known crowd-pleasers. They hook the audience and keep them paying attention. I just wish there was something stronger and more compelling to pay attention to.

Part of the problem is the limited range of subject matters. I know the hip-hop milieu demands some attention to race, but the poetry on race issues sticks to a few well-worn ideas, most of them delivered in the same high-key and indistinctly enraged tone. The poetry about sex is similarly repetetive. It's not true, as some have said, that Andrea Dworkin claimed all sex is rape, but if you go by what you find on this DVD, you'll think most of it is.

A lot of the anger seems ungrounded. The prime example of this is duet act Yellow Rage, who seem angry that others dare approach them as equals. They start out shouting, they never stop shouting, and at one point they are shouting over each other, so that I can't follow a blessed word they are saying. I know that a lot of people seem to want to regard Asian women as sex toys, but I'm not one of them, so why are they yelling at me? The correct answer is, they're not. They're just yelling because that's what they do.

There are a number of very good poets in this collection.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A truly great video
Published 15 days ago by Rodrick J Gooden
5.0 out of 5 stars Great inspiration for exploring poetry "outside the textbook"
I was interested in getting my students excited about poetry. This video does it. There is one poem said by a teacher that is spot on. Read more
Published 9 months ago by B. Hart
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Its interesting. There were a few poets that blew me away, then there were others that just didnt do it for me. Read more
Published on October 3, 2011 by Charmlucky
5.0 out of 5 stars Def Poetry Season 1
Amazing.
Inspiration for your life.
Do yourself a favor, and buy it.
Published on February 22, 2010 by Christina
4.0 out of 5 stars Great performance art
I am not sure what "Def" is.
I am not even sure I know what "Poetry" is, although I try to read much with an open mind--no, that's not what poetry appeals to--much with an... Read more
Published on May 19, 2008 by The Concise Critic:
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good dvd
This DVD is awesome the only problem I have with it is its too short only 4 episodes.
Published on March 23, 2007 by Latrice Latrice
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!!!
Can't get enough of Def Poetry .. poetry period really. I own Season 1-4, and I'm ready for 5 & 6. Deep poetry, deep people, and deep meaning. HIGHLY recommended.
Published on March 8, 2007 by Nicey
1.0 out of 5 stars silly!!!!!! Pointless, most "ABSURD" thing on TV
This is just angry people venting with vulgarity.

This isn't poetry! If this is im the next James Joyce.
Published on February 25, 2007 by C. Coley
4.0 out of 5 stars For all Poets!
I'm just the biggest fan of Def Poetry and I was estatic to see that it was on DVD. Season 2 & 3 are just as good if not better.
Published on January 4, 2007 by C. Mitchell
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