Nationality: Iran

Ends by Saba Riazi

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An author-made videopoem by Saba Riazi, a young Iranian filmmaker who divides her time between Tehran and Brooklyn. The music and sound design are by Bahar Royayi. To see more of Riazi’s very personal, idiosyncratic work, check out the videopoems page on her website. Her statement at the head of that page is worth quoting in full, so that perhaps other filmmakers in her situation will feel inspired to follow her example:

To us NYU film graduates, high production values are almost equal to ethics and principles. After three and a half years of having “Ice cream” my first feature in post production I realized I have lost “time” waiting for finances to come to be able to finish Ice cream. This has been the issue for many of my colleagues who wanted to make REAL MOVIES. So I decided, in the meantime I will shoot my life on my iphone or Canon 70D as I go, when I can and where I can and I will try to finish up weekly or biweekly video projects, freestyle, almost in form of a poem. You might notice sound pops, imperfect cuts and abstract narratives in these pieces and although those are conscious and some intentional, the only reason I make these videos is that they actually make me happy. They are very personal creative projects and they give me a chance to express myself and exercise my craft, without worrying about industry standards and three act structure and so on and so forth. [link added]

Like This by Jalal ad-Din Rumi

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David Martineau Lachance is the animator, director, and reader of the text, which is of course a translation from Coleman Barks. See the description on Vimeo for a complete list of Lachance’s collaborators on the film.

Erica Goss included this film in a selection of “10 Outstanding Poetry Films from the Zebra Poetry Film Festival 2012” this month in her “Third Form” column at Connotation Press. Be sure to go watch her other selections (some of which I haven’t shared here, due to a lack of English translation or for other reasons), and of course to read the second half of her review of the poetry festival.

dollhouse by Shabnam Piryaei

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It’s not often you see such roles as Key Grip, Script Supervisor and Gaffer in the credits of a poetry film! Even better, it still goes in the author-made videopoem category, as Iranian-American poet Shabnam Piryaei is credited as both writer and main director. According to the bio on her website, her print publication credits are as impressive as her film credits. It’s always heartening to see a poet working in film at such a high level of professional expertise.

I Will Greet The Sun Again by Forough Farrokhzad

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Turkish filmmaker Candeniz Erun seems at home in multiple languages; the effect of the rapid-fire text in this video is mesmerizing. Forough Farrokhzād was one of the most influential female Iranian poets of the 20th century.

Peacock and Fish by Hafez

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(English-dubbed excerpt)

This is Tongue of the Hidden, directed by David Alexander Anderson with calligraphy, translation and narration by Jila Peacock and animation by Florian Guibert, assisted by Jerome Dernoncourt. See the film’s webpage for complete credits, stills, storyboard, and more.

The poet Hafez, also known as the Teller of Secrets, used the language of human love and the metaphors of wine and drunkenness to describe his desire for the Divine and intoxication with the mysteries of the Universe. […]

Hand-drawn Farsi (Persian/Iranian) calligraphy is imported into the computer and forms the basis of constructed landscapes, and animals that move within landscapes. Software was Studio Max, Maya, XSI and After Effects.

According to a page on Jila Peacock’s website, “The film was premiered at the National Film Theatre in October 2007 as part of the London Film Festival and as part on Animate TV on C4 in December 2007.” See also the section of her site on her handmade artist’s book Ten Poems From Hafez.

These Spiritual Window Shoppers by Jalal ad-Din Rumi

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Coleman Barks reads his translation. As usual with the YouTube videopoems from Four Seasons Productions, there aren’t any credits, so I don’t know who put this together.

“Look at her face…” Ghazal by Jalal ad-Din Rumi

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This film-student production by Mark Pariselli features a simple yet ingenious solution to the problem of how to depict mystical consciousness. (Also, it includes footage of mating snails — always a plus in my book.) Read the ghazal here.