Nationality: Australia

Nailing Remembrance by Farkhonda Akbar

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A gorgeous poetry film by Jutta Pryor with music and sound production by Lisa Greenaway A.K.A. LAPKAT. Farkhonda Akbar, a poet from the Hazara ethnic group in Afghanistan, writes:

It was midnight in Melbourne when I wrote Nailing Remembrance after feeling a cold fire burning in me. I had just finished reading about the journey of a girl from my valley in Afghanistan in the late 1800s. A princess turned into a slave, she was elegant and in-love, layered and lonely, resilient and secretive. Besides the brutal political context of the time and her painful destiny, this poem is capturing her layers of inner feelings, sense of loss, vibrant and violent moments of the time and the strength in her struggle. Nailing Remembrance is a window into the museum of a forcefully forgotten self.

The Old Shopping Trolley Told Me by Brendan Bonsack

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A minimalist, author-made videopoem by Brendan Bonsack, “Filmed on location at The Merri Merri, Melbourne/Narrm, Australia.” Here’s the text. I thought this would make an interesting contrast to yesterday’s video by Ian Gibbins: also an author-made videopoem from Australia, but there the resemblance pretty much ends… except, I think, for the crucial role of the soundtrack in both.

Heist by Ian Gibbins

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A strangely compelling videopoem by Australian poet, composer and retired scientist Ian Gibbins. I say “strangely” because, after watching it twice, I still have no idea what it’s about… but I’m eager to watch it again! I particularly liked the use of computer code-like text on screen, which reminded me of what Gibbins did with mathematical notation in “accidentals (recalculated).” It also made me think of the WordPress slogan “Code is Poetry,” which I’ve always struggled with because the converse (“poetry is code”) is an unfortunately fairly widespread perception that prevents so many people from simply enjoying poetry, feeling instead that it’s a puzzle to be solved. That said, “Heist” does seem to tease certain detective-story sensibilities. Here’s the précis on Vimeo:

// * Calculating_our_options, we_talked_about * //
> C:\ [Raid 1] clandestine_surveillance, sleeplessness;
> D:\ [Raid 2] digital_account_protocols, stolen_cars;
> E:\ [Raid 3] handwritten_code, avarice_and_betrayal {who_is_working_the_numbers, keeping_track_of_time?};
> V:\ [Raid 4] execution, small_arms_fire (countersunk_beleaguered); {will_there_be_backup_when_we_are_zeroed_to_baseline?}.

This is one of two videos of Gibbins’ to be screened last weekend at the 6th International Video Poetry Festival in Athens.

UPDATE (1/25/18): At my suggestion, Gibbins has blogged about the video: “heist: what’s going on here?” I’m finding it difficult to excerpt the post since the whole thing is worth reading, so please just click through and read it.

12 Sights of the Sea by Ian Gibbins

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A new version of a videopoem by Ian Gibbins, transferring the majority of the text, which had been entirely on-screen on an earlier version, into a voice-over. I find this approach much more effective, though the earlier version is undoubtedly more accessible to the deaf (and possibly also to the dyslexic). Here’s the Vimeo description:

… the rippling enfoldment, across the ebb, failure below deck, only By-the-Wind-Sailors … text originally published in Cordite 45: Silence (2014)… images and sounds recorded from the seas and islands around the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia.

Be sure to follow Ian’s blog to keep up with all his video- and music-making. He claims to be retired, but the evidence strongly suggests otherwise.

Everything sleeps but the night by Matt Hetherington

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Marie Craven‘s latest poetry film uses a text and voiceover from fellow Australian Matt Hetherington over a collage of images from hither and yon (see Vimeo for the credits).

The Inexplicable Hardness of Things by Ian Gibbins

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Ian Gibbins calls this “a poem about a train journey, with a video to match.” It was recently featured in the Canberra-based web journal Verity La — go there for the text of the poem, as well as a current bio of the poet-filmmaker.

canine by Ian Gibbins

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A soundtrack-driven videopoem by Ian Gibbins. This is one of the just-announced Official Selections for the Juteback Poetry Film Festival 2017, which includes this synopsis:

“Now is the time of night when I wish I could piss like a dog… on this side of the law, I do not really care…” Something about territoriality and the dispossession that ensues. Perhaps our urban future is little more than a dog’s life, running the streets in the grainy afterdark, virtually colourblind, hunkered close to ground, following old scent trails, barely aware of the disaster about to befall us…