Posts in Category: Videopoems

DATA by Andrés Pardo and Jorge Luis Borges

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DATA rewrites Funes el memorioso, first published in 1942, a short tale by the great Argentinian writer, Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986). In making these notes about the video for Moving Poems, I have wondered how to credit the writing, and have elected to see it as a very contemporary kind of co-authorship, between the film-maker, Andrés Pardo, and Borges.

The film is a fusion of experimental cinema and videopoetry. The text is a poetic prose piece. Its subject is human history and its recording. Even more it is about physical traces. The film’s elements are in synchronicity.

A film-maker’s biography says this:

Andrés Pardo Piccone, Montevideo 1977, is a film editor, documentary filmmaker and film lab enthusiast. He releases in 2012 his debut documentary feature Looking for Larisa. His documentary work focuses on objects or situations that trigger stories of collective memory and its relationship to the creation of identity and community. He is fond of small film formats, black and white and Soviet cameras.

Pardo states elsewhere that he is better known as General Treegan.

DATA has been published at YouTube by the Institute for Experimental Arts in Athens, where it screened at the 2019 International Video Poetry Festival.

The Long Burial by Henrique Costa

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British filmmaker and animator Jonathan Knowles collaborates with Brazilian-American poet Henrique Costa, who lives in Brazil but writes poetry in English. Costa told us

I started making video poems in November 2019, when I teamed up with Jonny Knowles, an English director from Huddersfield, in the UK.

Since then, we have made five video poems. [The Long Burial] was written in 2017, but was reinterpreted by Jonny to address the strange times in which we are living now, in the spring of 2020.

I found the contrast between the formal sonnet and the glitchy, hyper-modern video especially effective. The soundtrack, including voiceover by Suzanne Celensu and music by Alias Here (AKA James Cunliffe) was also excellent.

I’ve in the Rain by Al Rempel

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A new poetry video from Erica Goss uses text by Canadian poet Al Rempel. She told us that

Al wrote the poem, and his friend Sandro Pecchiari translated it and recorded it in Italian. Al sent me Sandro’s recording and the poem in English. I asked for the Italian translation, and when I received it, I matched it to the English poem, line by line, to get the right pacing for the video.

Some of the images in the video are mine and some are from Pexels and Videezy. My son did the music.

Erica has been part of the international videopoetry community for the better part of a decade, first as author of a monthly column on the genre for Connotation Press, then working with Belgian filmmaker Marc Neys to make one of the most ambitious videopoetry series up to that time (2013-2014), Twelve Moons. In 2016 she began making poetry films herself, taking her time with each as her skills developed. I admire this cautious, deliberate approach because it’s so different from my own slap-dash, “git ‘er done” approach of turning out a huge volume of average-quality videopoems, hoping for the occasional gem.

This is I believe Erica’s first video collaboration with another poet. For Al Rempel, this marks a return to videopoetry after a series of collaborations with filmmaker Stephen St. Laurent from 2012 to 2016.

these days by Ian Gibbins

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I had the pleasure of watching this film by Australian videopoet and musician Ian Gibbins at the Big Poetry Weekend in Swindon, UK last fall. Prophecy never sounded so groovy.

Over the years I’ve seen a lot of videopoems with footage shot from cars, but this is the first time I’ve seen the driver credited (Judy Morris). A nice touch. And I like what Gibbins does visually to suggest the way our vision and possibly our very relationship to the landscape is warped by our love affair with the automobile. Of course it has to have a driving rhythm, as well.

Лялька / A Doll by Hanna Komar

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Click the CC icon for English subtitles.

A poetry video from Belarus, made collaboratively by the poet and performer, Hanna Komar, and photographer/artist Oleg Agafonov. Both are based in Minsk.

Hanna is the author of two poetry collections, Fear of Heights in Belarusian and a bilingual collection, Recycled, as well as a collection of Belarusian translations of Charles Bukowski. She writes in Belarusian and translates her texts into English. In addition to her YouTube channel, she also shares her work on Patreon.

Catarsis / Catharsis by Lilián Pallares

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A 2019 video from the ongoing creative partnership of Colombian poet Lilián Pallares and New Zealand filmmaker and poet Charles Olsen, who wrote:

This was made originally as a book trailer, to capture the essence of Lilián’s latest collection Bestial published in Zaragoza, Spain, by Papeles de Trasmoz, Olifante Editions, 2019. Her collection explores her Afro-Colombian roots and the death of her father. While writing the poems she was taking African dance classes in Madrid and we wanted to capture something of the African influence in this poetry film.

We live in a neighborhood of Madrid with a large migrant population, with people from Senegal, Guinea-Conakry, Morocco, Bangladesh, China, etc., and us (Colombia and New Zealand), and we decided to film this at night in streets with the dancer Marisa Cámara (Guinea-Conakry) and the poet and performer Artemisa Semedo (Galicia/Cape Verde). The music is ‘Zuru’ by the Colombian duo Mitú.

I include Catarsis in my Poesía sin fronteras program exploring translation, otherness, identity and death in cinepoetry from across the Americas, which by the way is available for public screening anywhere in the world — whenever such a thing becomes possible again. In the meantime, you can watch all the films here.

Here by Robert-Jonathan Koeyers

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Here is written and directed by Robert-Jonathon Koeyers, who describes it as:

an experimental visual poem combining video, photography, and animation to examine the lived Black experience and ultimately ask what it means to be ‘here’.

Additional animation was contributed by Lina Maldeikyte, Chellysia Christen, Mireille Kiesewetter, Sibel Vuap and Rebeka Mór.

Extensive artist notes on the piece are to be found at Koeyers’ website.