Nationality: Germany

Standard Time by Daniela Seel

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I was excited to see this film become available on the web last week, because it’s the one my jury mates and I chose as winner of the Weimar Poetry Film Award last year. Filmmakers Hanna Slak and Lena Reinhold adapted a text by the contemporary German poet Daniela Seel. Here’s the statement we released last May:

Standard Time is a timeless, self-referential meditation on the power of communication to transmute and, at times, distort. Its flawless blend of text, sound and images suggests a worldview both deeply rooted and universal, shamanistic and apophatic. It does what all great poems should do in suggesting more than it says and leaving the viewer’s mind abuzz with creative energy and new ideas. Addressing the poetic possibilities of time as it does, it can almost be seen as a film about poetry film itself.

I wrote all about our judging process in “2nd Weimar Poetry Film Award: A view from the jury.” Much more recently, the folks at Weimar have come out with a very effective video collage of interviews and other shots from the festival. And they’d probably like me to remind you that submissions to the 2018 award are still open until the 31st.

quälen / torturing by Etta Streicher

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This award-winning film from 2013, directed and animated by Rebecca Blöcher, is based on a poem of the same title by Etta Streicher. According to the official synopsis,

It is concerned with not speaking out, keeping your feet still or actually biting the bullet and achieving inner freedom. And about how individual mental states influence the world.

When it Comes to Marching by Bertolt Brecht

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A brief animation of a poem from Brecht’s A German War Primer by Andrea Malpede AKA Andrea Nocive, who notes in the Vimeo description:

I’ve always found Bertolt Brecht’s words strong and full of love.
In this animation I tried to give life to his powerful concept.

Das Bild in dem Bild in dem Bild in dem Bild / The Picture in the Picture in the Picture in the Picture by Marlen Pelny

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One of the two stand-out films, along with Die Angst des Wolfs vor dem Wolf, from Lab P‘s 2014 series, this stop-motion animation by Catalina Giraldo Vélez is based on a poem by German author and musician Marlen Pelny, who also supplied the voiceover and music. The Vimeo description reads:

Closing the window. Shutting up yourself. Observing your memories. Drawers open for storing of the memories, we are constantly looking for, removing or archiving again. We open a book that might be the book of our lives. The image in the image in the image in the image is a metaphor for memory and the nostalgia of forgotten times.

For more information about the film, see its webpage.

Kanten deiner Augen / Edges of your eyes by Yevgeniy Breyger

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“Gaps in the fog allow a look inside: A foreign environment, observing trees and falling birds.” Melissa Harms (A.K.A. MelissaMariella) directs and animates a text by Ukrainian-German poet Yevgeniy Breyger in this film from the Lab P project’s 2014 series. (The films were kept off the web for a couple of years, which is why I’m only getting around to sharing them now.)

Die Angst des Wolfs vor dem Wolf / The wolf fearing the wolf by Stefan Petermann

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This stunning German poetry film from poet Stefan Petermann and director Juliane Jaschnow is the Film of the Month at Poetryfilmkanal, where it’s written up (in English) by Marc Neys AKA Swoon. He calls attention to

A poem that seems written for the film rather than the other way around. Unless they came together in the process of the making and collaboration, in which case they did a perfect job reinforcing each other ideas. The poem seems to struggle to comply with the imposed visual frame and rubs frantically against the borders of that frame. Like a caged animal looking for a way out. That struggle makes the poem stronger and gives it a strong sense of urge. A narrative poem full of imagination is visually retranslated in an original way.

Read the rest.

The President’s Address by Ivan Stanev

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Ivan Stanev‘s Totleben TV project presents “news from yesterday,” but this is avant-garde remix videopoetry at its most relevant. The latest episode features fragments of footage of Mussolini, and it seemed appropriate for this day after the US election, for some reason.

Here’s the complete description of this video from the website:

Livestream from Todessa

Camera: Tman
Cast: Totleb & Co.
Editor: Todito
Soundmix: Todonsky Junior
Directed by: T.L.

©Ivan Stanev. All Rights Reserved

Acknowledgements
archive.org; freesound.org; Benito Mussolini

There’s an equally facetious About page. According to a Google translation of a German-language biography, Ivan Stanev was

Born in 1959 in Varna (Bulgaria). Author. Director. Stanev grew up bilingual, attending a German boarding school. He has been writing poetry, prose, plays and aesthetic treatises since his childhood, which could never be published in Bulgaria. From 1978 to 1980 he was in military service, then studied directing at the Academy of Drama, Directing and Theater Science in Sofia, at the same time studying philosophy.