Filmmaker: Paul Turano

But Mama, Why Do We Remember? by Sarah Kain Gutowski

It’s rare to see a poet or filmmaker’s very first attempt at videopoetry turn out as successfully as this. Fortunately the poet and co-director Sarah Kain Gutowski wrote a good blog post detailing her collaboration with the videographer, Paul Turano.

Toward the end of July, P.T. (pictured to the left, doing his tech thing) and I began work on our poetry video collaboration. We recorded the audio, then discussed various images and the sequence in the video, looked at some stock footage, brainstormed, etc. Last week, we met on campus with my little helpers, Miss Talkalot and The Boy, and we managed to film a couple of shots of them as the characters from my fairy tale poem, and then also some shots of the surrounding pine barrens, which are lovely.

This exercise is fun but strange and confusing. I have this idea of the poetry video as a piece of art unto itself, separate and distinct from a printed poem, but as we’re creating this piece I feel like we’re making a poetry video like people make music videos — which can be an art unto itself but is also just as often a simplified representation, with visuals, of what happens in the narrative of a song. I’m really hoping to avoid the latter, but I’m not sure if we’re going to get there, to that place where the video poem is lyric and metaphorical and something beyond illustration.

Do read the rest. It’s always fascinating to hear how a beginning videopoet works through the genre’s unique challenges.

The poem originally appeared (in text form) in the Spring 2015 issue of So To Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art.