Posts in Category: Videopoems

Послушайте / Please listen! by Vladimir Mayakovsky

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This wonderfully disturbing film by Natalia Alfutova was recognized by the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival 2016 jury as a Special Mention for the Goethe Film Prize. Be sure to click the closed captioning (CC) icon for the English translation. Here’s the description from the ZEBRA website:

The Dummy and its mirror-reflection are in the waiting room of God. They mimic the Human-talk and the God dancing.

Natalia Alfutova
was born in Moscow and studied Mathematics at the Moscow State University, movie directing at ‘Higher Director’s Courses’ Moscow,, and multimedia art at The Rodchenko Art School (Moscow). In 2014 she founded “Mediamead” art studio. Artworks of this studio are based on the mix of math, cinema and multimedia art. In last two years Natalia made a number of installations, which were shown in different Moscow Museums and art places.

Much to my own surprise, this is the first Mayakovsky poem I’ve ever shared a video for. I was sure I must’ve found others over the years, but apparently not.

Those Drawn Alive by Jukka-Pekka Jalovaara

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An author-made filmpoem by Jukka-Pekka Jalovaara, inspired by the archetypal Spaghetti Western villain Lee Van Clef. The description on its ZEBRA website page reads:

Every autumn I get heavily moody. This is caused by the loss of the light. Last summer I heard from the radio a tune called “The House of the Rising Sun”. At once I was on a wintery road, with a very low light – and having an impossible opponent against me – Lee Van Cleef.

Jukka-Pekka Jalovaara
born 1965 in Kuopio, Finland, attended the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and studied scenography and architecture. His work focuses mainly on drawing, photography and experimental motion pictures and has been shown in Finland and abroad.

The evocative soundtrack is by Samuli Kristian Saastamoinen.

Interrupted Nap by bpNichol

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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.

Firearms by Nikkita Oliver

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Another powerful blend of videopoetry and performance poetry video, today from poet Nikkita Oliver and filmmaker Bryan Tucker. Here’s the Vimeo description:

If the gun that was used to murder Trayvon Martin could talk, what would it say?

Firearms was written by Nikkita Oliver – a Seattle-based creative, teaching artist, and anti-racist organizer. Nikkita is an attorney and holds a Masters of Education from the University of Washington.

Written & Performed By: Nikkita Oliver
Directed, Filmed & Edited By: Bryan Tucker
Produced By: Bryan Tucker & Nikkita Oliver
Audio Recording: Tomi Adewale
Protest Photos by Naomi Ishisaka {naomiishisaka.com}
Special Thanks: Washington Hall, Robin Rojas, Brian Lee, Aselefech & Zariya, Niki Amarantides
Music: “The Way Home” by Tony Anderson (licensed via The Music Bed)

H/t: “New Video Poem by Nikkita Oliver Imagines Trayvon Martin Shooting from Gun’s Perspective

Countdown by Prufrock Shadowrunner

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You would think a politically minded poetic countdown from 100 might get a little draggy after a while. But you would be wrong. This collaboration between Prufrock Shadowrunner (poem, performance) and Rob Viscardis (video, music) blows me away. It was an official selection for the Reframe International Film Festival 2016 and the 2016 ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival International Competition.

Nicknames by William Richardson

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This is a great example of how a good soundtrack (here, the work of Luca Nasciuti, with voiceover by Alastair Cook) can really make a poetry film work. It’s from a new-to-me-project:

The fitba, the teams, the love for the game. Nicknames was written by William Richardson, read by Alastair Cook and filmed by Jane Groves. Nicknames was made as part of Luminate Festival’s Well Versed project. Workshops with Craigshill Good Neighbour Network were led by poet Rachel McCrum and filmmaker Alastair Cook. Nicknames was edited by Alastair Cook.

Luminate,

Scotland’s creative ageing festival, is held from 1st to 31st October across Scotland each year. The festival brings together older people and those from across the generations to celebrate our creativity as we age, share stories of ageing and explore what growing older means to all of us. Each year, there are activities all over Scotland – from art workshops and dance classes to music performances and authors’ events – and you will find Luminate in theatres, galleries, community halls, care homes and lunch clubs, as well as events online that take us to audiences everywhere.

The Well Versed screening was held last Saturday, apparently. The videos are now all online in the video gallery of the Luminate website.

The Applicant by Sylvia Plath (3)

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A unique twist on the performance poetry video genre from my new favorite channel on Vimeo, Tootight Lautrec’s This Be the Verse.

Tootight Lautrec, the Drag Laureate of the sub-sub-sub basement at PS 75 The Emily Dickinson School, brings you poetry–often as a drag queen lip-sync from archival recordings of poets–This Be The Verse: Poetry for Adults.

This wouldn’t work if Lautrec weren’t very, very good at lip-syncing. In all the years I’ve been combing YouTube and Vimeo for poetry videos, I can’t remember anyone taking this approach before, let alone pulling it off with such panache.

This is the third video for “The Applicant” that I’ve shared here over the years. See also Josep Porcar’s video remix and Maggie Bailey’s interpretative dance.

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