Filmmaker: J.P. Sipilä

Apology of Genius by Mina Loy

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A blog post about modernists by Ira Lightman, current digital poet-in-residence at the Poetry School, made me realize I’d never posted anything by Mina Loy at Moving Poems. Searching Vimeo, I found this film by the Finnish videopoet J.P. Sipilä.

This film poem is based on a poem ‘Apology of Genius’ by Mina Loy. I have always read this poem as a poem against futurism, even Loy was herself considered as a futurist. It stand agains the rough and hard world where thoughts and time are replaced by power and speed. And this is something I have underlined on this film. This film poem is about inequality, about something that prevents us from understanding each other. It’s an apology of understanding.

The music is credited to Samuli Sailo, with additional sounds from freesound.org. Though the film uses a little less than half of Loy’s text, it strikes me as very true to her spirit. (Read the complete poem at allpoetry.com.)

I wonder what Loy would’ve thought of videopoetry? I’ve always loved her definition of poetry:

Poetry is prose bewitched, a music made of visual thoughts, the sound of an idea.

Silent Scene by J.P. Sipilä

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Themes of alienation and belonging percolate through this experimental videopoem by the Finnish artist and poet J.P. Sipilä. The music is by Machifabriek and Samuli Sailo, and Roomet Jakapi contributed what Sipilä calls sound poems.

This is a featured video at London Poetry Systems, where Henry Stead wrote: “The balance and subtlety of the non-verbal’s relationship with the verbal is extremely powerful — a truly cross-media palette in the hands of a fine artist.” On his website, Sipilä observes: “In poetry there’s something left unsaid. In music there’s something left unheard. In film there’s something left unseen.”

The lyricline.org blog posted “Poetry & Film: statement by J.P. Sipilä” last year, which is worth quoting for additional context here:

What I do is videopoetry. It has a somewhat different approach to film and poetry than poetry film. I see poetry films as visual and kinetic illustrations of certain poems. But as far as videopoetry is concerned, video and sound are not mere reflections of certain poems, but a puzzle or juxtaposition of the three elements (video, sound and text). As videopoet Tom Konyves says: “Videopoetry is a genre of poetry displayed on a screen, distinguished by its time-based, poetic juxtaposition of text with images and sound. In the measured blending of these 3 elements, it produces in the viewer the realization of a poetic experience.”

A good videopoem creates a new overall poetic experience from the three elements used. For me the video is the paper and screen is the mouth of my poetry.

Sound and visual aspects have always had a huge effect on my poetry. I usually read poetry while listening music and when I see a piece of art I somehow automatically start thinking a story or a feeling behind it. Using video as a medium for my poetry was a step that was just waiting to be taken.

you knew this by J.P. Sipilä

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A short piece by J.P. Sipilä, a young Finnish poet with an impressive command of filmmaking techniques.