Why is this our most silent, daily question, ‘what to wear?’
And is it for ourselves or someone else that we ask this?
It was writing poetry and being a published poet at 14 that spurred [Cousins] on to be a visual artist: “The best poets explain our lives back to us in the rhythm and song of our own language. I was a very lonely child befriended by poems and stories. It was a combination that made me a very happy and successful adult. Being commissioned to send a poem out in to the world in a 3 dimensional film form is very exciting to me. I cannot wait to collaborate with my poet and think up a tapestry of images that will do them visual justice. What a treat! My aim is to reach an audience who benefit as I did from the magical medicine of poetry.”
Bangalore-based spoken word poet Bharath Divakar meditates on the meaning of slam culture in this film by Krishna Prasad Raveendran, who notes:
The film tries to capture the thought process of a poet as he/she walks up on stage. The film was shot and edited for Airplane Poetry Movement, a project to give spoken word poets in India a platform to showcase their work and get discovered […] Shot on Sony A6300 (The portions of the walk) The rest of the clips were curated. Filmed and Edited by Krishna Prasad Raveendran
Nitin Nath is the poet and performer in this musical short directed by Sumesh Lal with music rearranged and produced by Govind Menon. Like yesterday’s video, this poetry film was released as a trailer for a feature-length movie. But there’s an additional connection with the world of film here: the poem is a tribute to the great Malayalam director P. Padmarajan.
India’s first spoken word musical, ‘dear padmarajan’ is a prologue to the independent English feature film ‘Humans of Someone’, slated for release this March 2016.
‘Humans of Someone’ tells the story of a man who gets obsessed with a filmmaker whose films become inextricably entwined with his own life. WATCH THIS exclusive introduction to warm up to the neighbourhood of the film.
The prologue is our heart-sized ode to the dramatic genius of P. Padmarajan, one of the greatest storytellers we’ve ever known.
To support the film, follow facebook.com/humansofsomeone
Click through to YouTube for the unusually complete credits, which include a list of the Padmarajan films mentioned plus other references in the poem.
This is flight, a videopoem by Lisa Seidenberg A.K.A. Miss Muffett. Tagore’s poem is displayed in silent-movie-style intertitles with footage of the refugee crisis from Hungary, Greece, and Austria over a soundtrack of Russian choral music — an effective, high-contrast juxtaposition, I thought.
With spoken word videos, sometimes setting is everything. Ram Devineni filmed Alexander on the Highline in New York City for a Meena Alexander feature in Issue 3 of Ratapallax magazine. For more on the poet, visit her website.
The trailer for what sounds like a fascinating film about the survival of the poetry and music of the Sindhi Sufi Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai (or Bhitai), directed by Anjali Monteiro and K.P. Jayasankar. The trailer includes one of Bhittai’s poems. Let me just copy the description from Vimeo:
Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, a medieval Sufi poet, is an iconic figure in the cultural history of Sindh. Bhitai’s Shah Ji Risalo is a remarkable collection of poems which are sung by many communities in Kachchh and across the border in Sindh (now in Pakistan). Many of the poems draw on the eternal love stories of Umar-Marui and Sasui-Punhu, among others. These songs speak of the pain of parting, of the inevitability of loss and of deep grief that takes one to unknown and mysterious terrains.
Umar Haji Suleiman of Abdasa, in Kachchh, Gujarat, is a self taught Sufi scholar; once a cattle herder, now a farmer, he lives his life through the poetry of Bhitai. Umar’s cousin, Mustafa Jatt sings the Bheths of Bhitai. He is accompanied on the Surando, by his cousin Usman Jatt. Usman is a truck driver, who owns and plays one of the last surviving Surandos in the region. The Surando is a peacock shaped, five-stringed instrument from Sindh. The film explores the life worlds of the three cousins, their families and the Fakirani Jat community to which they belong.
Before the Partition the Maldhari (pastoralist) Jatts moved freely across the Rann, between Sindh (now in Pakistan) and Kutch. As pastoral ways of living have given way to settlement, borders and industrialisation, the older generation struggles to keep alive the rich syncretic legacy of Shah Bhitai, that celebrates diversity and non-difference, suffering and transcendence, transience and survival. These marginal visions of negotiating difference in creative ways resist cultural politics based on tight notions of nation-state and national culture; they open up the windows of our national imaginary.
For more on the film and its directors, including some reviews, visit its website.