Posts in Category: Videopoems

Antesala altísima / Lofty Anteroom by Estefanía González

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Spanish poet Estefanía González appears as one of three actors in this film interpretation of her poem from director Eduardo Yagüe. The English translation in the subtitles is the work of Jean Morris, and the music is from Swoon‘s album Time & River.

The poem appears in González’s 2013 collection Hierba de noche, which, according to this webpage, was born in large part from her activity on blogs, Twitter, and other social networks and internet collaborations. So it seems especially appropriate that her work should now be the subject of further web-based collaboration and transformation. As a blogging poet myself, I love her description of her outlook:

Sigo desperdigando poemas y semillas por las cunetas. Sigo vertiéndome como un jovenzuelo infinito. Sigo prefiriendo lo por venir a lo obrado. La perfección aún me recuerda a la muerte, cualquier elección me recuerda a la muerte. Quizá se trate de inmadurez. Seguramente.
(I keep scattering poems and seeds into the gutters. I keep pouring myself like an endless youth. I still prefer whatever is coming to what’s already been made. Perfection still reminds me of death, any choice reminds me of death. Maybe it’s immature. Surely.)

Transmission by Chris Sakellaridis

Poet: | Nationality: , | Filmmaker:

A gorgeous animation by Afroditi Bitzouni accompanies a recitation by the Anglo-Greek poet Chris Sakellaridis. The echo effect makes it a bit hard to understand at first, but the text is included at the end of a review at The Creators Project, which begins:

Animated paper cutouts a la Henri Matisse come together to form a visual representation of a poem influenced by the Greek mythological character Orpheus. In Transmission, illustrator and animator Afroditi Bitzouni interprets Chris Sakellaridis’s poem of the same name through a form of collage animation. The seamless fluidity of Bitzouni’s animation resembles the work of Matt Smithson in his Decoding the Mind video. Taking cues from a chilling score by John Davidson, Bitzouni creates fragmented landscapes and abstract humanoids from scraps of colored paper. The majority of the cut outs are grain layer construction paper while others look like they were taken from a magazine or book.

The film is part of the 3361 Orpheus project,

an experimental performance, that combines poetry, music, animation, dance and opera. Ιt draws inspiration from a range of retellings and adaptations of Orpheus’s myth.

The performance’s concept is based on a triptych. The dismemberment and subsequent journey of Orpheus’s head from the river Evros to the island to Lesvos and the creation of his Oracle near the Petrified Forest. The spatial, disembodied, satellite voice coming from the constellation Lyra, where the lyre was placed after his death. The fate of Orpheus’s limbs, buried near Mount Olympus.

The main characters in the narrative are Hermes, in his capacity as psychopomp and transporter of dead souls; Eurydice, recounting her own experience, in the form of shade and dryad, as well as memory; and Orpheus with his lyre, which is seen as a fourth character, a creature alive with its own vital energy.

This is Bitzouni’s second appearance at Moving Poems. Back in 2014 I shared her animation of Night by Tasos Livaditis, a video from Tin House magazine’s late, lamented videos section, Tin House Reels.

My dad’s bigger than your dad by Dave Viney

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Sometimes the only thing a poetry film needs to be great is to demonstrate an advanced understanding of play. This film by Jo Lane does just that. She describes it on Vimeo as

A visual representation of a poem by the mancunian poet, Dave Viney.
‘My dad’s bigger than your dad’ is not only a nostalgic chant that everyone has memories of, but a poignant metaphor for many current political scenarios. [link added]

Myles Sketchley Mercer composed the music.

Days of Kindness by Leonard Cohen

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

The late singer-songwriter’s poem about his life in Greece in the 1960s is juxtaposed with footage from contemporary Detroit by filmmaker AG Rojas. It all works beautifully, calling into question easy dichotomies of urban/rural, exotic/familiar, and nostalgia/regret.

Things I Carry Into the World by Cynthia Manick

This unusual and ambitious poetry film, created for the seventh season of Motionpoems by directors Jamil McGinnis and Pat Heywood, includes words from five different NYC poets, as Heywood explained in an email (links added):

The film is an adaptation of the poem ‘Things I Carry Into the World’ by Cynthia Manick. It’s an abstract meditation on the body, the feminine, the everyday realities of being young and black, and the fragility between the manmade and the natural. We worked with an incredible nonprofit, Urban Word NYC, who teamed us up with four poets: Esther Aloba, Nkosi Nkululeko, Makayla Posely, and Trace DePass, the scenes featuring them are actually adaptations of their own poems, heard briefly in the opening scene. We ended up with moments from four separate films, crafted under the umbrella of Cynthia Manick’s original poem. We found adapting poetry into film to be creatively liberating. Sort of like putting together a thematic puzzle; juxtaposing images, observing, asking questions, and finding moments of meditation to digest the poem’s text. We had our theater premiere at the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis on October 27 and our online premiere on NOWNESS on November 6.

The poems excerpted at the beginning are “untitled” by Makayla Posely, “Rule #1” by Esther Aloba, “band-aids & other temporary healings” by Trace DePass, and “From the Inside” by Nkosi Nkululeko. See Vimeo for the complete credits.

Goddank / Thank heavens by Max Temmerman

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

A day late for American Thanksgiving (I was busy hanging with the fam), here’s a Judith Dekker film of a poem by Flemish poet Max Temmerman, with Willem Groenewegen’s English translation in subtitling (and also in the Vimeo description). Dekker notes:

Max Temmerman’s poems and my images are related in a way. They both show the small movements, moments, objects and try to slow down around them. All the images for this one are shot in a time i had to say goodbye to one home to move to another. They are glimpses from both homes. The soundtrack is made by multi-instrumentalist Jon Birdsong.

Click through to Vimeo to read the rest.

Ted by Jon Constantinou

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker: ,

This author-made filmpoem by British filmmaker Jon Constantinou, co-directed by Jake Balfour-Lynn with actor Rick Stupple, was my favorite finalist from this year’s Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival, where it won Best Sound/Music. Michele Caruso was the sound designer. As Rabbit Heart organizer Sou MacMillan noted at Moving Poems Magazine, “You could hear every crackle of the fire, the scrape of the blade against whetstone, and grind of pencils being sharpened, all under a gentle and moving score.” For my part, I thought it was a great example of a film-poetic whole that’s much more than the sum of its parts.

12345...230