Filmmaker: Lisa Seidenberg

Strangers (Die Fremden) by Rose Ausländer

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A film interpretation of a Rose Auslander poem by the documentary filmmaker Lisa Seidenberg. I’ll be traveling to Europe soon myself, and this videopoem is helping me psych myself up for it.

Reading the English Wikipedia entry on Ausländer, I was struck by this factoid:

In the spring of 1943 Ausländer met poet Paul Celan in the Cernauti ghetto. He later used Ausländer’s image of “black milk” of a 1939 poem in his well-known poem Todesfuge published in 1948. Ausländer herself is recorded as saying that Celan’s usage was “self-explanatory, as the poet may take all material to transmute in his own poetry. It’s an honour to me that a great poet found a stimulus in my own modest work”.

Without the image, Celan’s poem wouldn’t have been nearly as powerful. Quite a “borrowing.”

“You live…” by Anaïs Nin (diary excerpt)

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A video by Lisa Seidenberg with text on screen from The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Volume 1. Though the text wasn’t a poem in its original context, its poetic quality taken out of that context and its juxtaposition with lyrical images and a dark ambient score make this more of a videopoem than anything else, I’d say. The Vimeo description reads:

A quote from the writing of Anais Nin, known best for her erotic memoirs is interpreted through dream-like expressionistic images and tantalising original score by composer Karl Warner. Filmed in Antibes, France.

For more of Seidenberg’s work, see her Vimeo channel.

Journey Home by Rabindranath Tagore

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This is flight, a videopoem by Lisa Seidenberg A.K.A. Miss Muffett. Tagore’s poem is displayed in silent-movie-style intertitles with footage of the refugee crisis from Hungary, Greece, and Austria over a soundtrack of Russian choral music — an effective, high-contrast juxtaposition, I thought.