Nationality: Italy

Quattro Ottobre (October Fourth) by Francesca Gironi

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A unique piece even by the highly eclectic standards of the poetry-dance film genre. For one thing, the dancer/choreographer, Francesca Gironi, also wrote the text. For another, video artist Jack Daverio‘s imagery complements and expands the text in such a way that this could easily be characterized as a videopoem senso strictu. It’s described on Vimeo as an “Ironic dialogue between poetry and video art. Self escape becomes hyper presence.” The music is by Luca Losacco.

Quattro Ottobre was a finalist at the Doctorclip poetry film festival as well as in the Carbon Culture Review Poetry Film Competition 2016, judged by Zata Banks, who describes it as “A strong example of a dance-led poetry film incorporating sound design, visual layering and a voiceover poem about the self.” (Click through for biographies for Gironi, Daverio and Losacco.)

All Over by Gabriele Tinti

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Michele Civetta (Quintessence Films) directs this adaptation of the title poem from a book by Italian poet Gabriele Tinti:

All Over is a collection of epic songs, of epinician odes for our day. The heroes praised are boxers, men the author identifies as the last able to truly astound, to induce awe. These epinician odes on Pindaric models are transformed in the making. What they sing about is not victory but defeat. The hero, the boxer, is deprived the possibility of attaining true “victory” through the gods’ obliging and favorable presence — a limitation that never pertained in antiquity. This is a fragile hero. An all-too human human. He is a “simple” boxer. Nothing but a man. The epinician odes, therefore, end up being direct, and matter-of-fact, in their style and content. They wind up as epigraphs, tragedies in verse form that narrate the real exploits of workday heroes, even if the resulting events are exceptional, moving us to weep, and to feel great admiration and compassion.

The reader here is Burt Young, and the fighter is Davide Buccioni. There’s a good interview with Tinti about his boxing poetry in Vol. 1 Brooklyn. Here’s an excerpt:

Do you feel that you need to evoke the pacing of a fight in a poem written about that fight? And if so, how do you go about that?

I know a lot of boxers, I have seen, I see, so much boxing that to me it is natural to bring back its rhythm, its music. Fist fighting, that terrible dance, on the other hand has a high poetic content. Because boxing is a space in which our repressed feelings, our fears and our identity anxieties all converge. Boxing resolves everything in the sense of death. It manages to do so because it is a primal display; a manifestation of an unrepeatable existential experience, a ‘true’ reality; the revelation of an internal world in which not only the body (with all its suffering) and the flesh are on the line, but also the intellect, the spirit and so-called ‘culture.’ It is a cruel spectacle made of pain and love, of the unpredictable and the serious, of boredom and great emotions.

When you appeared at the Queens Museum recently, your work was read by Burt Young, whose art also appears on the cover of All over. How did the two of you first meet?

We met in Rome. He was here making a film. We immediately became friends and immediately shared this project. He is a very intelligent and sensitive person. He went into my work without demands, perfectly understanding what I needed. We have great mutual respect and admiration. And he knows the world of boxing and boxers very well. Like me he knows that the boxer is a virus, a factor of destruction and living next to him means crying constantly. My poems are lamentations, they should be cried rather than read, as Burt does. Having completely internalized All over, he cries with absolutely no rhetoric and without any pre-arranged agreement.

Read the rest.

Interni / Interiors by Azzurra D’Agostino

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I had the pleasure of seeing this film, from Italian director Gianmaria Sortino, on the big screen at ZEBRA. Like Sina Seiler’s Elephant, it prompts us to consider the interior spaces of women’s lives from a new perspective.

Sortino describes it at Vimeo as

Video poetry based on a piece by a young talented poet, Azzurra D’Agostino.

A special thank to Marina Spada, who inspired this work.

Azzurra D’Agostino’s own reading is in the soundtrack. Jeff Abshear is the translator. (There’s also a version without the subtitles.) I see that Abshear has translated a collection of D’Agostino’s poetry, Canti di un luogo abbandonato/Songs of an Abandoned Place, for a small, letterpress edition from the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center.

La Ferita (The Cut) by Elena Chiesa

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Another brilliant animation by Elena Chiesa, this one with her own text.

Traversate by Elena Chiesa

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Italian videoartist Elena Chiesa says about her videopoetry:

These animations are the result of many metamorphosis of frames worked one by one “melting the pixels” as oil paint. The sum of many transformations creates this fluid…

Listening to poetry, as to a mantra or a song, always brings our mind to create a flow of images, stimulating the creation of visions provoked in our mind and memory by the words or sounds. What I try to produce is this flow. My personal flow. In animation.

Though she sometimes animates others’ poems, she doesn’t credit anyone else for “Traversate,” so I’m assuming she’s the author of both the poem and the translation.

IO game over by Sergio Garau

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This videopoem by Angelo Saccu, performed by Sergio Garau to music by Antonio Marra, betrays influences from all over: it’s equal parts concert video, sound poem and concrete/kinetic-text poem. I ran the YouTube description through Google Translate:

The violent encounter between political identities, economic, cultural, language here is staged through an ironic game of opposites. The ‘I’, translated into machine language 1 0 (zero), cut into pieces for binary digital misunderstood as grotesque chaos of contradictory slogans of contemporary power, explodes in a syncopated rhythm outside of himself. For tris doubly impossible breaks down the end of his world.

{ naked } by Daìta Martinez

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Video by Maria Korporal for a poem by Daìta Martinez, translated by Brenda Porster.

The video is the fruit of an encounter between a poet and a visual artist. Along the pathway of life, they share their stories, and open up different spaces and times.

The images and sounds are born of a stone – an altar stone that the artist erected for her video ‘Sacrificio’, and thereafter took down. Spread over the ground now, the stones are still there, waiting to be reborn in works of art. The stone chosen for { naked } was rediscovered in the dry grass: it takes on new life in the hand of the artist.

The poem was written specially for the video and is published here for the first time. { naked } — because, as the poet says, stone is naked. We have only to open it for it to come out, alive.

You can also watch it in the original Italian, {nuda}.