Nationality: Canada

My Story is Not My Own by Steven McCabe

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

The most ambitious film by a poet for his own poem I’ve yet seen. It even has its own website; go there for the complete credits. Here’s McCabe’s description of the poem and the project:

At the moment of the fatal shots Jacqueline Kennedy was seen fleeing into prehistory, dancing ritualistically, time-traveling to the wild-west and documenting landscape. The film’s running time of 11:22 mirrors the date of the events precipitating the film’s thematic concerns.

‘My Story is Not My Own’ intertwines art forms; featuring four performers (including two dancers), narrators reciting poetry, one singer chanting Javanese-inspired incantations, electronic-ambient music and ‘found’ Super 8 footage from Kashmir in the 1960s.

The film blends scenes of journey, intimations of ritual, emotionality and American political history within an overarching sense of earth’s mystery. Personal and national grief juxtapose with archival footage of distant landscapes evoking a sense of loss.

Archetypal images of grief pervade the film’s imagery via the symbols of starfish, stones and veils. A mythological texture envelops the various manifestations of the ‘widow.’

Wearing her pink outfit, from that tragic day in 1963, she bursts through a saloon’s swinging wooden doors followed by the swelling ocean crashing wildly in faded footage. Linked to nature her story is truly not only her own.

‘One string snaps, this is the sound of what was new, and the oldest vibration of all, following its twin.’

‘My Story is Not My Own’ is a first film from a poet remembering the ‘feeling’ of November, 1963. Watching black & white TV with his mother nearby tending to small children. The film makes an unspoken connection between chemical attacks on the jungles of Vietnam which soon followed and the spirituality of disappeared Neolithic culture.

Room in Brooklyn by Anne Carson

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker: ,

Expand this to full screen and turn the sound up: this is Hopper Confessions: Room in Brooklyn for cello, interactive electronics and interactive video. The music is by Joseph Butch Rovan, and the video is by Rovan and Katherine Bergeron. The page on Vimeo includes a rather academic disquisition from which I’ll quote only the opening paragraph:

This multimedia work draws its inspiration from “Room in Brooklyn,” a poem by Anne Carson, published in her collection Men in the Off Hours (New York: Knopf, 2000). Carson’s poem is itself polyphonic, exposing two different voices that speak to the condition of passing time: a painting by Edward Hopper (the 1932 canvas “Room in Brooklyn”) and a passage from St. Augustine’s Confessions. Carson measures the nostalgia of Hopper’s Americana with a tiny thread of verse that hangs on Augustine’s temporal philosophy like a second melodic voice over a stolid cantus firmus.

Ram’s Head by George Anderson

Poet: | Nationality: , | Filmmaker:

George Anderson, a Canadian living in Australia, reads his poem in this video by Laww Media, filmmakers from Wollongong, Australia.

At the Qunite Hotel by Al Purdy

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

http://www.vimeo.com/7857979

An excerpt from the poem by Al Purdy, brought to life by Bruce Alcock and Global Mechanic.

A fluid, vibrant and kinetic riff on one of Al Purdy’s best-known poems, recalling the experimental, interpretive work of Norman McLaren. It’s not a literal adaptation, but something more free-associative that visually accompanies the text while staying true to the playful, erudite spirit of the poem and Al Purdy’s imagination. We used oil paint, acrylics, graphite, charcoal, wire, cut paper, a beer mug, linoleum, bottlecaps… you name it, we art-worked and animated it. Almost all the animation was done in-camera, except for a bit of compositing after the fact.

Drop’t Sonnet by Anne Carson

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

This is the last of six YouTube selections from Anne Carson’s Possessive Used as Drink (Me), a lecture on pronouns in the form of 15 sonnets, with three Merce Cunningham dancers and video direction by Sadie Wilcox. See playgallery.org for more on the project.

Sonnet Isolate by Anne Carson

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Poem by Anne Carson, the fifth of six excerpts on YouTube from her lecture on pronouns in the form of 15 sonnets called Possessive Used as Drink (Me). See “Recipe” for more information on the series and the production.

Reticent Sonnet by Anne Carson

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Poem by Anne Carson, the fourth of six excerpts on YouTube from her lecture on pronouns in the form of 15 sonnets called Possessive Used as Drink (Me). See “Recipe” for more information on the series and the production.