Posts in Category: Videopoems

Seeing the Pope on TV by Maria Jastrzȩbska

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This four-year-old video by Kevin Simmonds for a Maria Jastrzȩbska poem about Pope John Paul II seems, sadly, as relevant as ever. The description at Vimeo:

A poem by Maria Jastrzȩbska from Syrena (Redbeck Press, 2004) that appears in Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion & Spirituality, from Sibling Rivalry Press and edited by Kevin Simmonds.

That anthology has its own website, including a videos page where you can watch this and 28 other videopoems! Kudos to Simmonds. It’s rare for a poetry editor to take video seriously at all, let alone make the videos himself.

Insomnie (Insomnia) by Daniel H. Dugas

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An author-made videopoem from 2012, in French with English subtitles, by Canadian poet, musician and videographer Daniel H. Dugas. From the description on Vimeo:

Synopsis: A television show on the Big Bang theory adds to the anguish of not being able to sleep. What would happen to dreaming if time itself disappeared?

Statement: Dictionaries hold all of the words of languages and images hold all of the feelings in the world. As time races on the linear track of our lives, sleeplessness becomes a fragile stand against the disappearance of being.

How Not to Need Resurrection by Michalle Gould

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Motionpoems are really going from strength to strength these days. October’s offering is a powerful, highly effective film based on a poem by Michalle Gould. The film was directed by Diego Vazquez Lozano and Statten Roeg of Detachment East with a talented cast of actors and original music by Lozano and Claudio Aguilar Riquenes. (See Vimeo for the full list of credits.)

Motionpoems also produced a short video of Gould discussing her reaction to the film—

as well as a longer, text interview about the poem, conducted by Kevin Danielson. The whole thing is worth checking out, but I particularly liked Gould’s concluding remarks:

I really enjoyed the experience of seeing my poem made into a film. What I love about poetry is that there are so many different ways to read a poem, and having a film made out of your poem is a really unique way to view someone else’s perspective on your work and what they get out of it. Because I wrote this poem so quickly and instinctively, I’m not sure I had ever really sat down and reflected on what I actually meant by it, and I think this whole process has helped me understand it better than I did before.

Gould also blogged about the premiere of Motionpoems’ 2015 crop of films last May.

The Minute by Charles Bukowski

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Even though I don’t like Charles Bukowski, I love this poetry film by Adrián Suárez, which functions in part as a demonstration of just how much can be packed into (slightly more than) one minute. The production team is pretty much the same as with Instrucciones para cantar / Instructions for Singing, including Juan Carlos Gonzáles as director of photography.

Ghazal Before Morning by Colleen Michaels

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A new Swoon (Marc Neys) film using a text from The Poetry Storehouse by Massachusetts-based poet Colleen Michaels, in a voiceover by Nic Sebastian. In a blog post, Marc notes:

I had images of jellyfish and other ‘floating creatures’ in mind for this poem/soundtrack. I found what I was looking for at Mazwai; filmed by Justin Kauffman & Randy Perry.

The music in the soundtrack is, as usual, Marc’s own composition. It’s also included on his Timorous Sounds album.

La semana sin tí / The week without you and Anti-Yo / Anti-Me (excerpts) by Tomás Segovia

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This is Platillo Puro, Spanish director Bruno Teixidor‘s “homenaje en videoarte al poeta hispano-mexicano Tomás Segovia” (homage in videoart to the Spanish-Mexican poet Tomás Segovia). He’s released both color (above) and black-and-white versions. Be sure to click the “CC” icon at the bottom to read the English subtitles—the work of translators Gabriela Lendo and Lucas Laursen, who were close friends of the poet. Also, be advised that the film contains full frontal nudity, so watch with discretion.

The title literally means pure dish, but Bruno told me in an email that it’s from a Segovia poem in which platillo refers to the pan on a balance scale. The voice on the soundtrack is Segovia’s, cinematography is by Thiago Moraes, and the actors are Leila Amat and Rafael de Labra. The two poetry selections are separated by a short statement from the poet about his relationship to the literature world as the credits roll, setting us up for the excerpt from “Anti-Yo” at the very end. All in all, a very effective homage, I thought.

Death is IN! by Tuija Välipakka

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Mikaela Välipakka directed this marvelous videopoem with cinematography and editing by Arttu Soilumo. The poem by Tuija Välipakka is from her 2014 collection Take Away (Paasilinna Publishing). Tuija and and her daughter Mikaela have co-authored a post at Atticus Review, where they describe the film as “the result of cooperation between two movie enthusiasts and a poet.”

Mikaela Välipakka and Arttu Soilumo wanted to create a poem film that is simultaneously dark and surrealistic, surprising and thought-provoking. The starting point was Mikaela’s vision of an empty movie theatre with a man sitting on the middle of the row. Man’s dreams start to stray around him, first slowly and eventually aggressively, trying to wake him up. The poem itself explores the absurdity and randomness of death.

The post continues with a quote from Mikaela Välipakka about her approach to filmmaking:

I start with a certain feeling and after that, scenes start to form in my head. I write them down and shoot these scenes one by one. I usually don’t make storyboards or any other plans, I go by intuition. On the set I get inspired by my model and model gets inspired by me. This creates something magical that can not be planned. Music is also really important to me. I love listening to classical music such as Mozart, Verdi and Gorécki. I put on headphones, close my eyes and my imagination starts to immediately fly. This is something I have been doing since I was a little girl, creating surrealistic and beautiful scenes in my head that I later implement them into ink drawings and short films.

Click through to read their biographies, and be sure to follow Atticus Review‘s Mixed Media section in your favorite feed reader for a steady stream of great poetry films.