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.
A brief, author-made videopoem by Cindy St. Onge, responding to a voicemail which she’s included at the beginning of the video. This is the the sort of simple, straight-forward video remix that, to my mind, any working poet these days should learn how to make as a matter of course, because sometimes a poem needs to be more than just words on a page. As St. Onge noted on Vimeo:
The video, not the poem, is my response to the much-too-chipper voicemail notifying me that my best friend’s ashes are ready to retrieve. The title gave me the idea for the video, so I changed the first person confessional poem to second person, and achieved a bit of satisfaction.
A classic videopoem by Arturo Cubacub, this took First Prize in the 1987 Poetry Film Festival in San Francisco. Here’s the complete description from Vimeo:
Completed in 1986, “Orbit” is the seventh video of my “Unity Gain Series.”
Choreographed by Jan Heyn-Cubacub.
Danced by Jan Heyn-Cubacub, Denise McIntosh and Arturo Cubacub.
Direction, Poetry, Editing, Special Effects, Computer Animation and Music by Arturo Cubacub.
Description: Poetry, dance, computer animation and digital video effects are used to juxtapose constructive possibilities within our destructive tendencies. “The most important challenge of our time is to create on the same scale as we can destroy.” – Gene Youngblood, 2007.
“Orbit” has received the following awards:
First Prize, Festival International de Video Do Algarve/ 1988, Algarve, Portugal, November, 1988.
First Prize, The 12th Poetry Film Festival, San Francisco, December, 1987.
Honorable Mention, Performance/Stage Category, Dance on Camera Festival ‘87, New York, December, 1987.
Certificate of Merit, Suffolk County Film & Video Competition 1987, Suffolk County Motion Picture & TV Commission, New York, 1987.
Best Video Award, PSA-VMPD American International Video and Film Festival, August, 1987.
Best Experimental Film Award, PSA-VMPD American International Video and Film Festival, August, 1987.
VMPD Bronze Medal, PSA-VMPD American International Video and Film Festival, August, 1987.
Best of Fest Award, Art Category, 1987 Columbus Video Festival, Ohio, July, 1987.
Certificate of Merit, Festival of Illinois Film and Video Artists, May, 1987.
Second Place, Athens International Video Festival, March, 1987.
Certificate of Merit, The Chicago International Film Festival, October, 1986.
Regional Fellowship Award, The National Endowment for the Arts, March, 1984 (project funding).
Artists Grant Award, The Illinois Arts Council, Illinois, March, 1984 (project funding).