Filmmaker: Lester Bell

Five ( Dramatic Pauses ) by Brendan Bell

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker: ,

A found-poetry masterpiece comprised entirely of phrases from the NBC Nightly News between July 2008 and February 2009. Brendan Bell credits himself with “imagery, music, and language reconfiguation,” with additional film footage by Lester Bell. He also singles out NBC anchor Brian Williams as a specific source of some of the language. The description on the Vimeo page is worth quoting in full:

We let the television news into the perceived safety of our lives on a daily basis. Even without direct contact, the language of the medium connects with us via background noise, internet blips, and watercooler small-talk. It has a distinct, and often overlooked, authority over the way we think and feel.

The nightly half-hour national news format attempts to condense the state of the world into easily digestible soundbites. My intention is to release these soundbites, inherent powers intact, realign them and force them to interact in unintended ways.

For seven months, I watched NBC Nightly News, recording phrases that piqued my interest. I focused on this single media outlet to give the project a specific voice and began reconfiguring the phrases into what can best be described as collage poems. Poetry, like the news media, uses evocative language to provide insight into the inner workings of the world. However, poetry allows subtleties and subtext to take center stage. The resulting collage poems highlight the ambiguous spaces between language and life, exposing the vagaries of the ostensibly concrete world around us.

The term (Dramatic Pause) implies a brief deviation from an intended script, or a small crack in real time, where things that are normally hidden become visible. It is based on instructions written for news broadcasters on their teleprompters.