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.
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.
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.
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
Another short excerpt from Justin Stephenson‘s terrific film The Complete Works, based on the poetry of bpNichol. (See my post of the “White Sound” excerpt for more about the project, including my thumbnail review of the film.) “In this segment, Nichol reads his visual text, Interrupted Nap. The film translates the reading into an animated sequence,” Stephenson notes on Vimeo. He also has a post on the film’s website which goes into more detail, and includes images of the source text (click through for those).
Interrupted Nap is a recording from the 1982 collection, Ear Rational. In it we hear snippets of a narrative, “Once upon a time…,” which are interrupted by bursts of vocal sounds. It sounds as if the narrator is having difficulty telling the story. The word “aphasia”, the inability to make sense in language or of language, appears at the end of the piece. In Interrupted Nap, either the listener has receptive aphasia, or the narrator has expressive aphasia.
The source text is a series of visual panels that appear to have been reproduced from pages on which someone has used a magic marker to write. The marker has bled through each page to the subsequent pages onto which new material has then been written.
Nichol presents the text as if his visual and speaking faculties operate like the head of a magnetic tape recorder, reading and speaking the information on the page including the “noise” from the marker bleed.
Andrés Fernández Cordón of the Buenos Aires-based studio Sloop animated and directed this adaptation of a charming poem by U.S. poet Meghann Plunkett. The Vimeo description notes that “We approached the production much in the same way the poem reads, step by step, drawing one frame after the other without knowing before hand where it would take us.” Plunkett provided the voiceover, and the music is by Shayfer James.
American poet Max Ritvo‘s death of cancer at 25 was widely mourned on social media last week. As the New York Times noted, much of his work was devoted to chronicling his struggle with Ewing’s sarcoma, which he contracted at 16. The above video is one of a pair of animations by Nate Milton produced to accompany an NPR podcast, as the YouTube description explains:
Ritvo visited the Only Human podcast for the second time during what he called his “farewell tour”. His debut collection, “Four Reincarnations” will be published later this year. Listen to the episode here: http://www.wnyc.org/story/max-ritvo/
See also the other animation, “Poem to My Litter.”