A new videopoem by Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon for a poem by Howie Good. Soundbites from Al Jazeera appear in the soundtrack together with Marc’s original music. When he shared it on Facebook, he included a brief note about its origin:
Howie Good wrote a strong poem, Aleppo. It called me and in one burst I created this video/soundpiece yesterday. Enjoy!
And a few days later, he indicated it might lead to more Swoon videopoems this year. Fingers crossed!
And I return, a shadow on the white ground,
To your sleep that haunts my memory,
I pluck you from your dream, which scatters,
Being only water filled with light.
To mark the July 1 death of the great Yves Bonnefoy, Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon made public what he called “an older (and personal) videopoem, never released before,” featuring his own reading of Bonnefoy’s poem “La Branche” in a Dutch translation by Jan H. Mysjkin with the English translation by Alison Croggon in subtitles.
On this day of international solidarity with Belgium, I’m sharing the most Belgian videopoem I could find. Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon is the filmmaker, credited on Vimeo with “concept, add. mouthsounds & music, editing & grading,” and his fellow countryman Velimir Lobsang contributed the reading and the soundpoem. In an old blog post about an earlier collaboration, Marc explained the poet’s pseudonym:
‘Velimir’ is de voornaam van de Russische futurist ‘Chlebnikov’ en ‘Lobsang’ is een Tibetaanse naam die zoiets betekent als ‘positieve, heilzame studie’, aldus J.V. een ex-collega die onder het wonderlijke pseudoniem Velimir Lobsang gedichten schrijft.
(“Velimir” is the [first] name of the Russian futurist Khlebnikov and “Lobsang” is a Tibetan name that means something like “positive, wholesome study,” says JV, a former colleague who writes poems under the strange pseudonym Velimir Lobsang.)
A film by Marc Neys (AKA Swoon) using a poem by the contemporary German poet Steffen Popp. The poet’s recitation and the English translation by Christian Hawkey were sourced from Lyrikline. The choice to have the untranslated audio version first, followed by the translation as text-on-screen, is unusual, but I think it works, echoed as it is by the vertically split screen. It does mean, however, that more than two-thirds of the film is devoted to the slower-moving English version.
Claus’s poem is adapted to film by his fellow Belgian Marc Neys AKA Swoon. The poet’s reading is courtesy of Lyrikline and the English translation is by John Irons. Marc used footage by Jan Earala, but everything else—concept, music, editing—are his own.
Marc told me recently that he’s moving away from writing process notes, preferring to let the films speak for themselves, as witnessed by his new, stripped-down, portfolio-style website. Last year, he made a pair of films for another Claus poem, “Halloween,” the second one also using footage from Jan Earala. Here’s hoping that more Hugo Claus filmpoems might be in the offing.