Posts in Category: Animation

Wasp’s Honey by Martha McCollough

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Martha McCollough’s latest animated poem appeared in Atticus Review on March 3, along with this artist’s statement:

Bees have many associations with death—they are sacred to Persephone and when there is a death in the beekeeper’s household they must be told and allowed to mourn. Through honey, they have associations with creativity—it is a Greek folk belief that if a bee touches the lips of a sleeping child, the child will be a singer or a poet. I wanted to keep this elegy simple and direct, so there is no voiceover, only visual text. The soundtrack was composed using the p22 text-to-music generator. Sections of the text were used to create a midi file, freely edited in Logic.

Click through for the bio, and watch more of McCollough’s stand-out poetry videos on Vimeo.

The Robots Are Coming by Kyle Dargan

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A film by Minneapolis-based animator Julia Iverson for Motionpoems — their latest episode, in partnership with Cave Canem. I love the poem by Kyle Dargan, from his 2015 collection Honest Engine.

Dog by Richard Scott

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An animation by Kate Jessop:

A young man comes to terms with his sexuality and confronts his bully in his home neighbourhood of Merton (London).
Specially commissioned for the Southbank Festival of Neighbourhood 2013, adapted from the poem by Richard Scott.

Click through to Vimeo for the text of the poem (or watch the newly uploaded version with subtitles).

Âne Dormant / Donkey Sleeping by Jacques Prévert

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A charming animation made for French television in 2014 by Caroline Lefèvre. (There’s also a version without subtitles.) It’s one of thirteen shorts made by different directors for the collection “En Sortant de L’École,” a televised tribute to Prévert. For more on the making of Âne Dormant, see the blog.

A Petty Morning Crime by Georgi Gospodinov

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Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov‘s poem in an utterly brilliant animation by Asparuh Petrov and the Compote Collective. Here’s the description from Vimeo:

А murder in the second degree, that doesn’t cut down the guilt…

04:01′ / DCP / 2015 / directed by Asparuh Petrov
“A Petty Morning Crime” is based on the original poem by Georgi Gospodinov of the same title. The film is part of the visual poetry project “Mark & Verse” produced by Compote Collective.

It was selected for ZEBRA 2016 and featured as a film of the month at PoetryFilm Kanal. Here’s the conclusion of their essay (worth reading in its entirety), via Google Translate:

A Petty Morning Crime convinces on all levels: from the voice, the sound design, the integration of the writing into the picture and the manner in which the poem is adapted visually. The adaptation retains a certain piece of work without falling into the illustration trap. The abstract figures, the spatial elements and the strong noises and sounds divert the attention of the viewer from the direct correspondences of word and image, and open his eyes to the special cinematic pictorial language, as much as the text also the everyday and banal pages of life poetry.

Transmission by Chris Sakellaridis

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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.

Known Unto God by Bill Manhire

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British animator Suzie Hannah teamed up with New Zealand’s poet laureate Bill Manhire for this poetry film, part of the Fierce Light series co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, Norfolk and Norwich Festival and Writers Centre Norwich. It was “Voiced by Stella Duffy, with Sound Design by Phil Archer,” says the description on Hannah’s website, which continues:

Mud and and pigment animation interpreting Bill Manhire’s poem about tragic death of youths in WW1, comprised of 14 short epitaphs for unknown NZ soldiers killed at the Somme, and for unnamed refugees drowning as they flee from wars now, 100 years later.

The film has been selected for screening at the following: 14th London Short Film Festival 2017, Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2016, O Bhéal Poetry Film Festival 2016, Zebra Poetry Film Festival 2016, Interfilm 32nd International Short Film Festival Berlin 2016

“Known Unto God writes the epitaphs to the lost of our world: those fallen soldiers of the Somme whose bodies were never found; those refugees of today who drown seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Bill Manhire and Suzie Hanna have created a bold and powerful memorial to the voiceless, and a reminder that WW1 was a conflict that shook the entire world, and that our lives have grown ever more interconnected since. ” Sam Ruddock, Writers Centre Norwich

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