Filmmaker: Othniel Smith

“I like a look of agony…” by Emily Dickinson

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Othniel Smith repurposes public-domain imagery from the Internet Archive to accompany Dickinson’s text, which was written in 1862, during the American Civil War.

When We Two Parted by Lord Byron

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Othniel Smith specializes in poetry mashups with images from the Prelinger Archives. He made this one with “Images from ‘Just The Two Of Us’, aka ‘The Dark Side Of Tomorrow’ directed by Barbara Peeters and Jack Deerson (1970).” The reading is by Kristin Hughes from LibriVox.

A Drinking Song by William Butler Yeats

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Another of Othniel Smith’s videopoems made with free classic film footage from the Prelinger archives and free audio from Librivox. What makes this one work for me, oddly enough, is the lack of music juxtaposed with the dancing scene.

To A Young Poet by R. S. Thomas

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Othniel Smith notes:

An interpretation of a poem by Welsh writer R. S. Thomas (1913-2000), made entirely using material taken from the public domain Prelinger Archive. Contains brief nudity.

See Smith’s Vimeo channel for many more classic poetry mashups with Prelinger films and Librivox recordings.

I Want To Die While You Love Me by Georgia Douglas Johnson

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This mash-up by Othniel Smith is so wrong, it’s right: images from Red Detachment of Women accompany a Librivox reading of a classic poem from the Harlem Rennaissance poet Georgia Douglas Johnson. I hope her heirs have a sense of humor.

Lulu Gay by Wallace Stevens

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Othniel Smith used a reading by Alan Davis Drake for Librivox and public-domain images from the Prelinger Archive to make this short film.