Marc Neys AKA Swoon‘s latest videopoem uses a translation of my own, so it’s entirely possible I’m prejudiced here, but I really like his choice of footage to accompany this century-old poem by the great Nicaraguan innovator of Modernismo. He also made a version in the original Spanish.
We each shared some notes about the poem and the film in a blog post. Quoting oneself is weird, but here’s what Marc wrote, in part:
I probably fell for the poem because of the outspoken naivety in lines like
for there’s no greater pain than the pain of being alive,
no affliction more severe than consciousness.
I wanted to steer away from easy or obvious choices in imagery but I also wanted the footage to be clean and simple (unremarkable almost), yet beautiful in their elusiveness.
In the editing process the starting point was the poem. I put different title blocks along the length of the soundtrack (without the presence of images). Only then I looked for appropriate footage (some of it is mine, others came from archives or videezy, videoblocks and mazwai) and adjusted them (pace and length) to make them fit the title blocks with the lines of the poem. The choice of font and placement of the text on the selected images was the last thing to do.
I still enjoy this way of composing.