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.”
Sound poetry and concrete poetry elude most efforts at translation — except for translation into videopoetry, as in this new release from OTTARAS (Ottar Ormstad and Taras Mashtalir) and Alexander Vojjov. I’m sure knowing Norwegian would add layers of meaning but even without that, I found the visualization of names as planetary objects or one-celled organisms intriguing and delightful. Here’s the Vimeo description:
NAVN NOME NAME (2016) is based on Ottar Ormstad’s “telefonkatalogdiktet” (‘the phonebook poem’). It is his third book of concrete poetry, published in Norway by Samlaget (2006). For this language research project, Ormstad read (!) the phonebook of Oslo 2004 and selected names on a poetic basis. In the book, the names are presented visually as concrete poetry. Most of the names are strongly connected to Norwegian and describe phenomena in nature.
NAVN NOME NAME is the second work of a collection of video poems created by the Norwegian-Russian duo OTTARAS (Ottar Ormstad and Taras Mashtalir) in collaboration with Russian video artist Alexander Vojjov. In the video, Ormstad reads names selected by the Russian-American composer Mashtalir. Through this work, Norwegian language turns into international sound poetry. Ormstad’s collection of family names present in Oslo’s phonebook at the time of reading are exposed and read by the author while performing to Mashtalir’s pulsating music. Is everyone connected to each other in the sphere that is shaping before the viewer’s eyes? How do names and language relate to the atmospheric scapes Vojjov creates of numbers, geometric forms and abstract shapes?
NAVN NOME NAME exists in different versions made for screening and live performance. Raising awareness of electronic poetry and sonic ecology, attracting new audience to a potent yet to come genre is the inspiration for this collaboration.
The video is produced in HD 16:9 in color, stereo.
Duration: 06:05 mins
Animation: Alexander Vojjov
Music: Taras Mashtalir
Concrete poetry, voice & production: Ottar Ormstad
© Ottar Ormstad 2016
In response to extracts from Sean O’ Brien’s same-titled poem, ‘Hammersmith’ is an elegiac, hand-drawn animation sweeping through 1950’s London. drawn from the iconic cinematography from Jules Dessin’s 1950 noir film, ‘Night And The City’.
The soundtrack by Lady Caroline Mary includes a song by Bernadette Sweeney.