Posts in Category: Videopoems

quälen / torturing by Etta Streicher

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This award-winning film from 2013, directed and animated by Rebecca Blöcher, is based on a poem of the same title by Etta Streicher. According to the official synopsis,

It is concerned with not speaking out, keeping your feet still or actually biting the bullet and achieving inner freedom. And about how individual mental states influence the world.

L’ Inventario / The Inventory by Francesca Bonfatti

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Venice-based photographer and video artist Francesca Bonfatti notes on Vimeo that

“The inventory” is inspired by a film from the repertory of mute cinema of 1917, inspired by the novel by Antonio Fogazzaro of 1881, in which a woman experiences a deep state of disturbance perhaps due to a personality duplication that is the cause of strange memories that emerge as ghosts of the past…

This is among the latest featured videos at Poetry Film Live. Go there for much more about Bonfatti and the multimedia project of which this is a part.

Years After You Die by Simone Savannah

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A highly personal, author-made videopoem by writer and doctoral student Simone Savannah. Like yesterday’s video, this was recently featured at The Continental Review.

In a 2015 interview with the Phoenix Rising Collective, Savannah discussed some of the family history that she also drew upon in this poem.

Translations (from The End of Something) by Kate Greenstreet

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A fascinating experiment in bilingual videopoetry from the always inventive Kate Greenstreet. Here’s the description on Vimeo, with italics and links added:

Based on early versions of poems from The End of Something translated into French by Alexander Dickow for the anthology Ligatures: Poets of France and America (Catala Press, 2017). Featuring the voice of Virginia Konchan speaking the French lines and a short video clip of Amaranth Borsuk (“the girls are gone”). This video first appeared in The Continental Review (thecontinentalreview.com).

It’s good to see The Continental Review, one of the oldest online poetry video journals, still putting out issues. Browse their latest material here. And be sure to visit Kate Greenstreet’s webpage for The End of Something to download a free music EP and watch three more videopoems based on texts in the forthcoming book. Ahsahta Press’s description begins:

In curating cartography together with lyric, poly-vocality with loneliness, and even the unspeakable with common speech, poet and artist Kate Greenstreet has created a surprising hybrid with The End of Something. The intimacy in Greenstreet’s partial narratives and slow admissions contrasts with much of what we consume as Americans, which is fleeting and feigns being “factual.”

Body With No Windows by Annelyse Gelman

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A film written and directed by Annelyse Gelman, who also composed the music in the soundtrack. Her description on Vimeo:

Body With No Windows explores death and embodiment through a collage of faceless sequences from public-domain home video footage of a Pennsylvania family in the 1950s.

It was featured in Issue 152 of TriQuarterly, where video editor Sarah Minor wrote:

In “Body With No Windows” by Annelyse Gelman, “human faces have been elided,” first found and then lost. Here, the tensions between vocal annunciation and the sharp timing of archival clips showcase Gelman’s practiced hand at working in collage. A woman on camera walking alone becomes a mother holding a child’s hand just as suddenly as “the feeling that your body belongs to you” might go away. Gelman’s opening soundscape signals a kind of dread or apprehension. This tone is quickly disrupted by quotidian footage of sunbathers in crabgrass, yard dogs, and tandem swimmers curated from the Prelinger Archives. In a particular fleeting style that intermedia texts seem to capture best, Gelman asks us to recognize the uncanny that we only witness in the daily lives of others, that particular waiting “to be carried from what you cannot remember to what you cannot forsee.”

Washing Day by Cactus “Cathy” Chilly

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A haunting, incantatory videopoem from U.K. poet-filmmaker Cactus “Cathy” Chilly that raises disturbing questions about what we accept as normal and ordinary.

Vaccine by Christy Ducker

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I can’t say enough good things about this animated film by the ever-inventive Kate Sweeney. It works equally well as a poetry film or as a lyrical promo for vaccination; the transition from prose narration (by Dr. Mohamed Osman) to poetry half-way through is natural and powerful, and the poem by Christy Ducker is extraordinarily good. Here’s the description:

An animated film highlighting the research and fieldwork into finding a cure for Leishmaniasis, a chronic disease affecting millions of people in areas such as Sudan and Syria. The film was made as part of a collaboration between poet Christy Ducker and artist Kate Sweeney and scientists working at York University at The Centre for Chronic Disease.

Working in collaboration allows access to an other’s research, in this case, the work of scientists who are actively working to find a cure, and to study the causes and exacerbations of the Leishmaniasis disease. Dr Mohamed Osman sent me photographs he had taken when in Sudan of the people he was working with, trialing a vaccine for the disease. I was able to interview him, talk to him about my interests in stories and how we tell stories to frame experiences and use his response and his photographs in the initial part of the film. The second part of the film is an animated response to Christy’s poem that explores metaphorical links between medical vaccinations and the grieving process. Where the loose style of the first part of the film reflects the nature of conversation, the more structured animation in the second part reflects poetry’s structured, considered language.

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