Filmmaker: Kylie May

Mirror by Sylvia Plath

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A brilliant text animation of Plath’s 1961 poem with images from vintage print advertisements. It’s the work of the New Zealand-based designer Kylie May, née Kylie Hibbert — the name under which she made this film and another in 2005, part of a “postgraduate study exploring the visual language of poetry” she called the Belles Lettres project.

By transforming the written words of poetry into choreographed kinetic performance the project seeks to expand typographical conventions of traditional published poetry. The research project utilises the poetry of Emily Dickinson’s (1862) I died for beauty and Sylvia Plath’s (1961) Mirror, to explore the potential of paralinguistics and poetry as emotive narrative. These two poetic voices are fused by intimate revelations of anxiety, which have relevance in today’s society.

Both films were shortlisted for the 2006 Berlin ZEBRA Poetry Film Awards, Mirror attracting a finalist placing.

PLEASE NOTE: Music used under the AUT screenrights license. For academic research purposes only.