Directed by Nick Ramey and Lauren Armantrout, who note in the Vimeo description:
In Victor Hugo’s famous poem, demain des l’aube, many have formulated their own adaptation of the plot. Subtitled in English, while the poem is read in French, this story involves the consequences of commitment in a relationship. The notion that love lasts forever couldn’t be further from the truth in this heartbreaking short.
Hugo’s poem has its own page on the French Wikipedia.
In this film by Maxime Coton, Char’s text in English translation is presented on the screen in dialogue with the translator, Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody, who responds in the soundtrack — a novel approach to videopoetry that I haven’t seen before.
Lost at first in the crowd, a voice from the past emerges, in silence. A poem of René Char, poet and member of the resistance. Then another, younger, voice responds, filled with doubt and hope. By the glimmer of ephemeral points of light a conversation develops between these two voices, between master and disciple. Together, they evoke the necessity of creating, of rebellion, of transmission.
direction, editing, mixing : Maxime Coton
cinematography, color grading : Miléna Trivier
translation and english voice : Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody
music : Nico Muhly
credits : Stéphan Samyn
a BRUITS asbl production in coproduction with CPC asbl (Anouchka Dewarichet, Annick Ghijzelings)
(See also the original version without the English subtitles.) A collaboration between writer Marianne, filmmaker Dorianne Wotton and the musical trio Exomène, producing what they call “spoken worms.”
[O]ur three dream, disturbing and crazy worlds intersect, tangle and merge to create the spoken worms: audiovisual pieces in which each medium is strengthened to immerse the audience in their imaginary ternary.
Each artist brings his sensitivity, his approach.
There is a high complementarity between the protagonists of these creations. Round trips between writing, music and images are extremely exciting for everyone. They make the transposition of words, pictures and music spectacle in a real research and a perpetual creation.
The “spoken worms” have been produced several times in Paris and we are looking for new venues in France or abroad.
To watch more of their collaborations, see the page at Marianne’s blog.
A poem by the great Jean Follain, read by Nic Sebastian for Pizzicati of Hosanna. The translation by W.S. Merwin is from his book-length selection of Follain poems, Transparence of the World, which belongs on every poetry lover’s bookshelf.
I don’t make any great claims for this video; I just wanted some Follain here at Moving Poems and no one else was envideoing him in English.
Remember only that I was innocent
and, just like you, mortal on that day,
I, too, had had a face marked by rage, by pity and joy,
quite simply, a human face!
A striking, abstract envideoing of the excerpt from Fondane’s Exodus inscribed at the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. Hadas Zarbiv, the filmmaker, said she produced this in collaboration with Yad Vashem, which would account for the language choice.
Benjamin Fondane was a surrealist poet and existentialist philosopher in France, part of what the English translator of Exodus calls “the extensive Rumanian contribution to French intellectual life” in the 20th Century, which includes such luminaries as Tristan Tzara, Constantin Brancusi, E. M. Cioran, Mircea Eliade and Eugene Ionesco. The Wikipedia article is also quite extensive.
I just discovered that someone had uploaded a copy of this landmark film from 1952. Anaïs Nin’s husband Ian Hugo directed, with text from Nin’s novella House of Incest recited by the author over an electronic score by Louise and Bebe Barron. While the text may not be poetry per se, the form and style of the film anticipates modern filmpoetry/videopoetry by decades.
When a sighing begins
In the violins
Of the autumn-song,
My heart is drowned
In the slow sound
Languorous and long
Pale as with pain,
Breath fails me when
The hours tolls deep.
My thoughts recover
The days that are over
And I weep.
And I go
Where the winds know,
Broken and brief,
To and fro,
As the winds blow
A dead leaf.
(trans. by Arthur Symons, 1902)
For alternate translations and analysis of the original, see textetc.com.
British filmmaker Rachel Laine shot this on a Canaon 600D and edited in Fainl Cut Pro and Logic. It uses music by Carillion and Nic Sebastian’s reading from Pizzicati of Hosanna.