Back in May, Dave wrote some words about a video from the poem The Long Burial by Brazilian-American writer Henrique Costa. That piece was a collaboration between Costa and UK film-maker and animator Jonathan (aka Jonny) Knowles.
They made A Sonnet to the Smartphone a few months earlier. It is an elegiac and then rousing cry for our times. For both videos they teamed up with actor Suzanna Celensu, also in the UK, who appeared and voiced the soundtracks.
All parts of this collaboration are equally wonderful. Let’s hope there are more videos from them in the future as well.
I started making video poems in November 2019, when I teamed up with Jonny Knowles, an English director from Huddersfield, in the UK.
Since then, we have made five video poems. [The Long Burial] was written in 2017, but was reinterpreted by Jonny to address the strange times in which we are living now, in the spring of 2020.
I found the contrast between the formal sonnet and the glitchy, hyper-modern video especially effective. The soundtrack, including voiceover by Suzanne Celensu and music by Alias Here (AKA James Cunliffe) was also excellent.
A text by the 20th-century Brazilian poet Cecília Meireles, read and translated into English by the London-based artist Natalie d’Arbeloff, has been translated into film by the indefatigable Belgian videopoet Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon in a lovely and moving tribute to his late mother. He writes:
My mother passed away.
This is a tribute to her and the way she directed her own ending.
For the visual part of the video I used a split screen. Footage of leaves floating, a fish, reflections of leaves (by me), an old tea kettle drifiitng on the sea and the shade of a butterfly (Credit to Jan Eerala)
Sober and tranquil.
I know this work is personal, but I think that the beauty of the grief transcends the personal aspect. Anyway enjoy…
I never met Marc’s mother, but I almost feel as if I knew her, since she appeared in a number of his films over the years. I’m honored to have played a small role here in having brought the translation and reading to Marc’s attention by publishing them at my literary blog Via Negativa.