Nationality: France

Une Mort Héroïque / An Heroic Death by Charles Baudelaire

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A fascinating, silent-film-style theatrical interpretation of Baudelaire by Ryan Kiggell of aya theatre company and Olivia Rose of GoodDog theatre company.

A fool, marked to die by a capricious king, is made to perform for the last time. A re-working of the prose poem by Charles Baudelaire; a modern parable on the place of art within the landscape of power and wealth. Both film and theatre, the piece was devised and filmed on a single evening in a public square in Paris.

Made by Ryan Kiggell and Olivia Rose, with GoodDog Theatre Co.
Produced by George Moustakas for aya and Green Rooms.

“An Heroic Death” forms part of a longer film, “The Last Songs of Lucan”, based on the poetry collection “Le Spleen de Paris” by Charles Baudelaire. This is a 17 minute silent film accompanied by live percussion by Jamie Misselbrook.

I don’t usually share poetry films or videos that include so little of the referenced poem, but this piece really captured the essence of Baudelaire’s melancholy text, I thought. Two English translations of “Une Mort Héroïque” are available online through Google Books, one by Aleister Crowley and another by Louise Varèse.

J’ai tant rêvé de toi / I Have Dreamed of You So Much by Robert Desnos

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An animation of Desnos’ poem produced for French television by Emma Vakarelova.

Inside and Out by Anna-May Laugher

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A new film by Helen Dewbery using a text by the French-British poet Anna-May Laugher, with music by Kevin MacLeod. According to the credits, it was “created as part of a elephantsfootprint workshop led by Helen Dewbery and Chaucer Cameron with thanks to Hilda Sheehan for inviting us to be part of Poetry Swindon”. For more on Elephant’s Footprint, see their website and Vimeo page.

À une passante / To a Passer-By by Charles Baudelaire

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An illustrative, atmospheric take on Baudelaire’s poem by the Sicilian London-based independent filmmaker Luana Di Pasquale, with William Aggeler’s English translation in subtitles. The Vimeo description reads:

This short depicts in 1 min. and 30 sec. Charles Baudelaire’s Poem – ‘A Passer-By’ from ‘The Flowers of Evil’ collection – an European Classic which was first published in 1857. This French poem describes the moment when the Poet meets the eyes of a Mourning Woman in Paris’s Flea Market. In our adaptation – the poem is set in London’s Soho where the Poet meets the fugitive eyes of a Sex-Worker, played by actress Lidja Zovkic.
This adaptated version of Charles’s Baudlaire’s poem was inspired by Bunuel’s film ‘Belle de Jour’ and its music by the avant-garde composer Edgard Varèse with a few film noir’s notes Produced/Directed by Luana Di Pasquale. Edited/VFX by Massi Guelfi.Original music by Matthias Kispert.

Tu t’es toujours trompé (You’ve always been wrong) by René Daumal

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Being aware is not a still state,
it’s an act.
If you think about that
when you’re part of a crowd,
you’ll see yourself surrounded by sleepwalkers.

René Daumal was a “French spiritual para-surrealist writer and poet” (Wikipedia), here adapted to video by Katia Viscogliosi and Francis M., A.K.A. Derviches Associés, in a piece that was included in the 6th ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival (October 2012, Berlin) and the “Cinéma fragile” installation at Lyon International Contemporary Art Biennial, Résonance (November 2011).

Ne pas oublier (Don’t forget) by Katia Viscogliosi

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An understated “poetic essay” that gathers unexpected emotional force toward the end. It’s the work of the videoartist collaborators Derviches Associés—Katia Viscogliosi and Francis M.—and has been screened at Festival Miden in Athens, Visible Verse in Vancouver, and the 2008 ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival in Berlin.

Between « do not forget to pay the electricity bill » and « do not forget in 1967 I was a princess and
the world was magic », there are some links, memories, hopes, cries. Life, somehow.

Be Drunk (Enivrez-vous) / Bądźcie Pijani by Charles Baudelaire

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A Polish-language videopoem with English subtitles (sorry, French people) by Gaba Sibilska, who says in the Vimeo description:

It’s an attempt to re-interprate Charles Baudelaire’s poem in a way that fits in our world – world of young people. It’s the inevitable future that frightens the youth. In the juvenile joy of life and affirmation of fun, one can find denial, lies, fear, despair, a desperate attempt to escape from the reality. Eventually, though, every young person must realize that however change of perception may ease the fear, it has no affect on time. And no matter how distant it seems, the end of carefree youth will come one day…

Here’s the French original.