Posts in Category: Author-made videopoems

Backstory by Rachel Kessler

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An author-made videopoem by Seattle-based writer and artist Rachel Kessler. Here’s the Vimeo description:

This poem, “Backstory,” first appeared in Poetry Northwest, Winter & Spring 2015 Issue. I wrote it while collaborating with visual artist Leo Saul Berk on a public art project that included a series of linked, looping palindromic story-poems about the Willamette River in Portland, OR. I shot this video in Seattle early one morning out walking my dog, Smudge, along Lake Washington.

Gecompliceerde Schaduwen / Complicated Shadows by Swoon (Marc Neys)

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With 238 videos, most of them poetry films, up on Vimeo, the prolific Belgian artist Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon is taking a well-deserved break from videopoetry this year to focus on one of his other passions: composing electronic music. This is one of the last videos he uploaded before his sabbatical, and unusually for him, it uses a text of his own composition, with English subtitles translated by Annmarie Sauer. He’s recycled some footage from Jan Eerala, but everything else—”Words, voice, concept, camera, editing & music”—is his own.

This is something that I think every serious poetry filmmaker should attempt at least once. You don’t have to be an expert poet to make a powerful and effective videopoem; you simply have to have a well-tuned artist’s eye and musician’s ear for what kinds of sequences and juxtapositions work, so that the whole might become greater than the sum of its parts. Marc makes it look easy, but of course it isn’t. Of all the poetry filmmakers I know, he may be the closest to logging those 10,000 hours of practice supposedly required to turn one into a master.

Accumulate by eddie d

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Last week we saw eddie d’s genius for poetic remix in a short videopoem from the videotape era, “Poem #7.” Here’s a longer and more ingenious example of that technique from 2014.

In an age when even smartphones produce HD video, eddie d collects old SD dvds and instruction videos to search for material to use for his works. This Lo-Fi approach has resulted in a video poem which stars one man and his numbers. The poem might be about the financial crises, terrorists, or bankers, or just about everyday problems we all have to endure. The question that remains is: How much more? 5?
One thing is certain: as always with eddie d videos, the work is short enough to fit in anyone’s pocket.

Poem #7 by eddie d

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An experimental, author-made piece from 1998 by the Dutch video artist known as eddie d, “known for his video poems, short, single channel, video works in which spoken word and sound are transformed into compositions of language and rhythm.”

The droll description of “Poem #7” on Vimeo calls it “A top video poem, by a top video poem editor, recited by top poem reciters.” I’d call it a too-short, brilliant defamiliarization of a hackneyed English phrase.

Pomegranate by Karen Mary Berr

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A new author-made videopoem by Karen Mary Berr with a very NSFW text in the soundtrack. The music is “Halfaouine” by Anouar Brahem.

Berr notes at her blog that the poem was prompted by the gift of a pomegranate. So the choice of imagery for the video reflects that origin in something a bit more than mere metaphor. The poem’s frank, first-person eroticism seemed like a good follow-up to yesterday’s video of a quote from Anaïs Nin.

The City Inside, Part 2 by Tim Cumming

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The conclusion of poet-filmmaker Tim Cumming’s new film of a poem about London. Though the entire film is over 13 minutes long, the repetition of certain images and tropes serves as a connective glue, and the language has sufficient energy to make the film seem much shorter than it is. (Watch Part 1.)

Children of the Nephilim (excerpt) by Cindy St. Onge

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This author-made videopoem by Cindy St. Onge juxtaposes footage from Trump rallies with footage from Nazi concentration camps, along with other images. The choice of music for the soundtrack (by the Masonik collective) feels especially inspired. The Vimeo description:

This video is based on a poem which was originally titled “Free Range Citzens.”
Have you noticed that with the proliferation of technology and mobile devices, that we so rarely look up anymore? We should wonder about that.
Poem, concept and editing by Cindy St. Onge. Footage from Videoblocks, Cindy St. Onge, CSpan, Right Side Broadcasting. Soundtrack by Masonik.
Full text of poem can be read here: exhibitapoems.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/children-of-the-nephilim/

St. Onge has posted two versions of the videopoem; here’s the other.

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