Nationality: Argentina

Del vacío de la voz (Of the Emptiness of the Voice) by vanvelvet

Vanvelvet is an Argentinian filmmaker currently living in Barcelona. For this videopoem, she had assistance from Federico Rasenberg and Florencia Peitrapertosa. The English translation is O.K.; the only egregious error is “whom” for “womb” (vientre), the final word of the poem.

The Threatened One, by Jorge Luis Borges

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A nicely non-literal animation of the poem by Latvian filmaker Signe Baumane, from 1999. It won Silver at Worldfest – Houston Film Festival 2000, the Robbie Burns Award at Cin(e) Poetry Festival 2000, and a Jury Award at the 34th New York Exposition of Short Film and Video 2000, according to Baumane’s website. Here’s the Spanish text.

Poetry in advertising: Poetas Malos (Bad Poets) for Coca Cola Light

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A couple of the YouTube uploads of this ad attribute it to Andy Fogwill of the advertising firm Santo Buenos Aires, so I’ll assume that’s correct. I first saw it in the dubbed English version below, via Don Share’s blog.

For those of us immersed in the world of poetry, it may come as a bit of a shock to realize that for many other people, poetry is synonymous with bad poetry. Had it not been for that sleight of hand there at the end, I would’ve thoroughly enjoyed this. For all that bad metaphors and aching sincerity set my teeth on edge, it is still preferable to the ad man’s cynicism in the service of idolatry.

Diologos (Dialogues) by Alejandra Pizarnik

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHWeTFzVehU

Here’s a film based on one of Alejandra Pizarnik’s “Dialogues,” which I’ve translated below along with the prefatory text. According to the hard-to-read credits at the end, the director is Carlos Martinez. I love the evocation of classic horror films here.

The rain is expected to pass.
Winds are expected to blow in.
It’s expected.
They say.
Through love to silence, they say pathetic things.

I wish they’d leave me alone with my new, fresh voice.
A stranger.
No! Don’t leave me!

Words to illuminate the silence.

*
[Un cuento memorable/A memorable story]

—That black one that laughs from the small window of a streetcar resembles Madame Lamort —she said.
—That’s not possible; there are no streetcars in Paris. Besides, that black one on the streetcar doesn’t resemble Madame Lamort in any way. Quite the opposite: it’s Madame Lamort who resembles that black one. In sum: not only does Paris lack streetcars, but I have never seen Madame Lamort in my life, not even in a portrait.
—You agree with me —she said— because I don’t know Madame Lamort either.
—Who are you? We should introduce ourselves.
—Madame Lamort —she said— and you?
—Madame Lamort.
—Your name, I can’t think what it reminds me of —she said.
—Try to remember before the streetcar comes.
—But you just told me there were no streetcars in Paris —she said.
—They didn’t exist when I said it, but one never knows what might come to pass.
—Then let’s wait for it, since we’re waiting for it —she said.

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