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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: December ::
Shakespeare Behind Bars Documentary
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.2074  Thursday, 9 December 2004

From:           Eric M. Johnson <
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Date:           Tuesday, 7 Dec 2004 22:47:03 -0500
Subject: 15.2056 Shakespeare Behind Bars Documentary
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.2056 Shakespeare Behind Bars Documentary

This reminds me of the "Saturday Night Live" short film called "Prose
and Cons," with Eddie Murphy as a prison poet. An excerpt (wait for the
Shakespeare payoff at the end):

http://snltranscripts.jt.org/81/81apros.phtml

(Rolling Stone Managing Editor) Terry McDonell: I think that most of
today's writers are coming from the straining, compacted bowels of that
beast we call the American penal system...

Narrator: Each year, Rockland sponsors a poetry festival.

[Camera trucks up and forward to reveal the occupant of the maximum
security cell: Tyrone Green, psychotic young African-American male.]

Narrator: Tyrone Greene is this year's winner.

Tyrone Greene: [angrily intense, directly into camera]
Images by Tyrone Greene ...
Dark and lonely on the summer night.
Kill my landlord, kill my landlord.
Watchdog barking - Do he bite?
Kill my landlord, kill my landlord.
Slip in his window,
Break his neck!
Then his house
I start to wreck!
Got no reason --
What the heck!
Kill my landlord, kill my landlord.
C-I-L-L ...
My land - lord ...
Def!

[Handel's Hornpipe plays again as prisoners are cuffed and led away.]

Narrator: Dostoyevsky said, "The degree of civilization in a society can
be judged by entering its prisons." As someone else said, "If
Shakespeare were alive today, he'd be doing time."

[Credits roll over images of prison bars:

A NORMAN MAILER FILM

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