I question how much where I am is who I am
and am immediately struck by the fact that the entire world’s moving,
that every time I ask where I am, the answer’s changed by the end of the question.
This week’s theme at Moving Poems is shaping up to be “Oh my god, I can’t believe I didn’t post that already!” This author-made animation from Timothy David Orme may be his most ambitious yet.
Afterlight is a short hand made film that explores both one’s inherent darkness and one’s inherent lightness. Every frame was made with charcoal on paper (sometimes each frame was drawn up to eight times) and then composited digitally.
Lincoln Greenhaw is credited with the voiceover and Stephen Baldassarre with the sound design.
Afterlight has been getting lots of exposure on the film-festival circuit.
Winner, 2013 Toronto Urban Film Festival (one minute edit)
Winner, Best Animation, Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival
Winner, Cammy Maximus Award (CSU Media Festival)
Third Place, Headwaters Film Festival
2013 Body Electric Poetry Film Festival
Breadline Poetry Reading, Seattle, WA., May 2013
2013 Toronto Urban Film Festival
2013 Bradford Animation Festival
2013 Giraf Animation Festival (Calgary)
2013 Underexposed Film Festival, 2013
Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition (Cork, Ireland)
2013 Free Form Film Festival (Salt Lake City)
2014 Toronto Silent Film Festival
2014 Boise Film Underground
2014 Indiegrits Film Festival
2014 America Online Film Awards Spring Showcase
2014 Headwaters Film Festival
2014 Experimental Film Festival Portland
2014 Zebra Poetry Film festival (Berlin)
2014 Landlocked Film Festival
2014 Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival
2014 Film Streams Local Filmmaker Showcase
2014 Idaho Horror Film Festival
2014 Cyclop Video Poetry Festival (Ukraine)
Andy Bonjour‘s brief, deceptively simple videopoem about his wife’s embroidery was selected for Visible Verse 2014 and the “Parallel Worlds” programme at ZEBRA. Videopoetry critic Erica Goss included it in a list of ten stand-out films from the 7th ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival. It’s a gem of a video, and demonstrates that sometimes closely aligned footage and text can really work together, producing not a feeling of redundancy but something more like gestalt.
From WalkRunFly Productions, here’s a unique performance poem by Daniel J. Watts which took the form of a well-coordinated, flash-mob-like demonstration four months ago, in response to the choking death of Eric Garner at the hands of police. In light of the recent failure of a grand jury to indict the officer who killed Garner, and the growing, nation-wide movement against racist police behavior, it is sadly more relevant than ever. Here’s the description from Vimeo:
On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner, a 43-year-old Staten Island man died after being placed in a choke hold by police. His death sparked national outrage.
More than 100 Broadway stars, directors, choreographers, designers, and technicians gathered at the police precinct in Times Square to express their thoughts on the killing of Eric Garner.
WalkRunFly Productions (Warren Adams & Brandon Victor Dixon) partnered with poet Daniel J. Watts, MSNBC’s David Wilson from thegrio and more than 100 Broadway stars, directors, choreographers, designers and technicians in Times Square, to express their thoughts on the killing of Eric Garner.
Warren Adams & Brandon Victor Dixon
Poem written and performed by
Daniel J. Watts
Lowell Freedman, Antonio Thompson, Darryl Harrison, And Jesse Guma
The whole incident was captured on video by a bystander, and at least one poet — Bettina Judd — has remixed the footage into a videopoem. Judd is no stranger to innovative videopoetry, and it shows: she uses contrast and layering to good effect, including verses from the Bible (where breath is often equated to the soul and to the breath of God), preparing the viewer/listener for a sardonic, unsettling conclusion.
An author-made videopoem from Ukraine. See YouTube for the text of the poem. Here are the credits:
text Zaza Paualishvili
music Khrystyna Khalimonova
video Zaza Paualishvili
editing Valeriy Puzik
translator Dmytro Shostak
This was screened at the CYCLOP videopoetry festival in Kiev on November 23 as part of a competition called “The Way” (До слова).
Like watching the performance of a shape-shifting blind bard, this videopoem by interdisciplinary artist, writer and designer Sarah Rushford has more than a little of the epic about it. Here’s her description at Vimeo:
In What are the next three letters, metaphoric images are intercut with footage of women whose eyes are closed, saying Rushford’s script of original poetic compositions. The script is a collection of idiosyncratic dialogs between adult and child family members, disabled, confused or challenged individuals, and their caregivers. The women narrators seem mysteriously in possession of the words they say. Their recitation does not seem memorized, neither are they reading the words. This mystery regarding their knowledge of the writing, charges the work. The women narrators are ordinary women of varied ages and races, they are unadorned, uncommon, yet ordinary women. The eyes of the viewer are drawn to the sincere, and spontaneous expressions on the faces of these women, whose eyes are closed. They seem vulnerable, prone to their own emotional reaction to the words they are saying.
Struggling with insomnia last night, I kept thinking of this film by Christine Hooper—a Royal College of Art graduation film that’s gone on to win a whole raft of awards and screenings (I saw it at ZEBRA). The voice is provided by British comedian and actress Susan Calman, and the sound design is by Tom Lock Griffiths. As Michael Fukushima, the Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada, says:
The animation and cinematography are beautifully executed with spontaneity and verve that complements the liveliness of the monologue, and the Hockney-esque composition and playing with time sequencing is such an apt visual metaphor. An exceptional graduate film, showing enormous potential for a successful future.
“Written & filmed by Janet Lees. Edited by Glenn Whorrall.” Thus the Vimeo description. But there’s much more information on the British poet and artist (plus her regular partner in videopoetry collaborations, Terry Rooney) in the new “Swoon’s View” column up at Moving Poems Magazine. Marc Neys describes their films as “short and sharp as a razor … a breath of fresh air in these times of cultural abundance and profusion of advertising.” And Lees provides some background on each of the four films Neys has selected. About this one, she writes:
‘The hours of darkness’ features footage of flamingos that I took in a wildlife park in the middle of winter. I found the sight of the flamingos in this big gloomy shed electrifying – there was something both prehistoric and post-apocalyptic about it. In my mind, I knew there was only one poem for this film – ‘The hours of darkness’, which I’d written about a year before, inspired by the anodyne yet always to my ear potentially sinister messages contained within in-flight announcements and other forms of mass communication. Here, the repeated phrase ‘May we remind you’ assumes an increasingly dark, Orwellian tone.
Go read the rest (and check out the other three films).