“Kneading language” speaks about love for language and the emotional roots that connect us to it. It explores the role of family in transmitting affection for our culture and traditions.
– Nominated to “Best Valentine” at Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival (USA) 2016
– Selected at Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival (USA) 2016
– Selected at Ó Bhéal Poetry-Film Competition (Ireland) 2016
2º Prize for videoart (ex aequo), Xuventude Crea 2016
According to the credits, Parra was responsible for poem, voiceover, camera-work and editing, while the soundtrack was composed and recorded by Alejandro Almau. I must say, as an amateur baker, I was fascinated by the footage, and have a sudden urge to make Galician empanadas. Northwest Spain is apparently where the empanada originated.
A brilliant author-made videopoem I ran across on Vimeo the other day, by Gabbi A.K.A. Gabriella Cisneros, a Milwaukee-based film student who describes herself on Vimeo as an “Artist of various classifications — Documentarian in words—pictures—&—videos — Rememberer”.
This was the winner of CinePoem’s 48-hour filmpoem challenge held in Glasgow back in December. According to the YouTube description, it was “Written, directed, voiced & edited by Michelle Fisher and Fiona Stirling.”
Canadian videopoet Daniel Dugas has hit upon a novel way to use footage shot from the window of a moving vehicle in the first of this video’s three parts, “The paths.” “The lake” and “Diamonds floating” continue the juxtaposition of moving images with a single static image of a delivery truck being unloaded by the side of a road, which makes me think of how limited and constrained any visitor’s perspective on a place must inevitably be. The whole thing makes for a very satisfying, brief travelogue.
A good place-based videopoem by Damon Moore (words) and Kate Moore (film). The YouTube description reads:
In recovery after cancer treatment at Bristol Royal Infirmary, I attended a one-to-one counselling session. Despite being given an all clear, I had entered a prolonged state of sadness that was proving difficult to shake off. My scheduled meeting with the psychiatrist fell flat but returning after the session to Trenchard Street multi-storey car-park, noticing how Bristol streetscapes combined in archaic patterns, I realised how we can unconsciously link long-lost events from the past into a continuous mindscape. This is the ‘Bristol’ referred to at the conclusion of the poem, a metaphor for our tendancy to internalise ‘cities’ of sadness.
Damon indicated in an email that he and Kate have just begun to get into making poetry films. I asked him about their process, and he answered:
Our departure point is the location and we tend to fix where we are going with the edit at an early stage after reviewing the footage. For example, with Trenchard Street, we decided to go with the final long shot so parked that in the last half of the film and then designed speeded-up and staccato sections in the first half to complement. I know there are filmmakers who work out all the details beforehand and I am a big fan of the Billy Collins films which must take a great deal of time to plan, but both Kate and I like to plunge in and get all nitty and gritty.
View more of their films on YouTube.
The D.C.-based poet Sandra Beasley has made three new videos in support of the paperback edition of her book Count the Waves, due out next week from Norton. This was my favorite of the three, but you can check out the others and read all about her process in a very thorough post at her blog (I love how her ideas to promote the book include “promoting the new and forthcoming books I love by others–because I believe that to give to a community is to get a community”), concluding with a number of annotated links to other poetry films and videos she admires.
The music is “Raidenaick” by Marceau. Beasley’s comments about her use of music were especially interesting to me:
I keep my videos short, under two minutes, but that’s just a personal preference. Also, I feel strongly that the best results come when you can find a piece of music whose length genuinely matches your voiceover, versus cropping something down. There’s a magic to how the crescendos and shifts in pacing–of an artwork created independently of your poem–can accent the turns in the text. (Somewhere in there lies a theory of the organic volta.)
This author-made filmpoem by British filmmaker Jon Constantinou, co-directed by Jake Balfour-Lynn with actor Rick Stupple, was my favorite finalist from this year’s Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival, where it won Best Sound/Music. Michele Caruso was the sound designer. As Rabbit Heart organizer Sou MacMillan noted at Moving Poems Magazine, “You could hear every crackle of the fire, the scrape of the blade against whetstone, and grind of pencils being sharpened, all under a gentle and moving score.” For my part, I thought it was a great example of a film-poetic whole that’s much more than the sum of its parts.