The Resource John Brown's Body at San Quentin Prison

John Brown's Body at San Quentin Prison

Label
John Brown's Body at San Quentin Prison
Title
John Brown's Body at San Quentin Prison
Contributor
Distributor
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
John Brown’s Body at San Quentin Prison is a film about America – the far history, slavery and the Civil War - and the near history, the lives of a particular group of prisoners serving life sentences for murder at San Quentin prison. These two histories meet through a drama workshop whose sole occupation is to mount a live stage production of an almost forgotten piece of literature, a neglected American masterpiece, John Brown’s Body, by Stephen Vincent Benet. The film takes an unorthodox form, part performance – excerpted pieces of the recorded live performance of the play – and part documentary, acute observations from prisoners on prison life, the seeming endless rehearsals and frank personal revelations about their crimes, by a cast of characters who were also the actors in the play.. The restrictions on the workshop are great – no recording devices of any kind; no costumes; no props; no female actors. Rehearsals are voluntary and can be held only on the prisoner’s free time. No one is excused from work time. There is no thought to make a documentary film under these restrictions. Rehearsals begin in May of 2000 and continue for almost three years – once a week at first, and then two, three and four days a week by the end. Some thirty-five men pass through the workshop over its two and a half year life. Cast members are continually lost to transfers to other prisons, without notice, and to months-long trips to the hole. Rehearsals are cancelled without notice due to lockdowns or heavy fog or arbitrary reasons – one time, for a week due to an execution. We follow the men from the beginning, where their reason to show up at the drama workshop is to pass the time. None believes anything will come of it. Over the course of the film, we see the men’s interest grow from skeptical to interested to committed. Finally, this mixed-race group of individuals learns to trust one another and gradually becomes a company.. The performances before some five hundred people, including the warden, her staff and other inmates, are a triumph. The effect on the men is dramatic, even transformative. One of the men sums up what the experience meant to him: zUp until we did the play, I was never forced to be responsible. This is one of those times I was forced to be responsible…It gives me another dimension of who I am. It gives me another dimension of life, period.y
Cataloging source
VDU
Characteristic
videorecording
Date time place
Originally produced by De Francesco Films in 2013
Language note
In English
Runtime
73
Technique
live action
Label
John Brown's Body at San Quentin Prison
Link
http://cuyahogalibrary.kanopystreaming.com/node/188330
Instantiates
Publication
Note
  • In Process Record
  • Title from title frames
  • Film
Antecedent source
unknown
Carrier category
online resource
Carrier category code
cr
Carrier MARC source
carrier
Configuration of playback channels
unknown
Content category
two-dimensional moving image
Content type code
tdi
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1kanocm01188329
Dimensions
unknown
Extent
1 online resource (streaming video file) (74 minutes):
File format
unknown
Form of item
online
Level of compression
unknown
Media category
computer
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
c
Medium for sound
other
Other physical details
digital, .flv file, sound
Publisher number
1188329
Quality assurance targets
not applicable
Reformatting quality
unknown
Sound
sound
Sound on medium or separate
sound on medium
Specific material designation
  • remote
  • other
System details
Mode of access: World Wide Web
Video recording format
other
Label
John Brown's Body at San Quentin Prison
Link
http://cuyahogalibrary.kanopystreaming.com/node/188330
Publication
Note
  • In Process Record
  • Title from title frames
  • Film
Antecedent source
unknown
Carrier category
online resource
Carrier category code
cr
Carrier MARC source
carrier
Configuration of playback channels
unknown
Content category
two-dimensional moving image
Content type code
tdi
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1kanocm01188329
Dimensions
unknown
Extent
1 online resource (streaming video file) (74 minutes):
File format
unknown
Form of item
online
Level of compression
unknown
Media category
computer
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
c
Medium for sound
other
Other physical details
digital, .flv file, sound
Publisher number
1188329
Quality assurance targets
not applicable
Reformatting quality
unknown
Sound
sound
Sound on medium or separate
sound on medium
Specific material designation
  • remote
  • other
System details
Mode of access: World Wide Web
Video recording format
other

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