Nationality: Russia

Алый апрель (Scarlet April) by Dmitry Vodennikov

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Ukrainian filmmaker Anzhela (Angie) Bogachenko directed and edited this surrealist videopoem with a text by the contemporary Russian poet Dmitry Vodennikov (who is no stranger to video). That’s Vodennikov’s reading in the soundtrack, which was put together by Victor 78 — the long-haired male lead. The English translation in the subtitles is credited to Anna Shwets. (I like the way even the post-it notes are translated. And I love the post-it notes in general.) The cast includes Zoryana Tarasyuta along with Bogachenko and Victor 78. Vladimir Gusev was the cameraman. Asya was the cat.

Bogachenko also made that delightful film with the dancing cosmonauts that I posted back in October, “А у вас дім далеко від нас?” (Do you have a home away from us?).

Beyond the Seen by Yana Djin

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This new poetry film by Karen Mary Berr is based on a poem by Russian-American writer Yana Djin (website, blog). In a post on her blog, Berr noted:

It has been said her poetry offers no consolation, no ‘right’ solution to the tragedy of life, but paradoxically this is precisely the only one I needed when the time came for consolation.
Yana’s voice is a true voice, with no concession, no need for gilding, no lies.
She’s not only an inimitable writer, but a beautiful woman and an irreplaceable friend.

Черный человек / The Black Man by Sergei Yesenin

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Sergei Yesenin‘s poem stunningly translated into film by director Alexander Fedorov (who also contributed the voiceover, soundtrack, and some of the animation), with additional animation by Nikolay Vologdin and videography by Mikhail Kazantsev and Artur Zaynullin. There’s also a version without the English subtitles.

Blue Notebook No. 10 by Daniil Kharms

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Jacky De Groen, a masters student in animation from Belgium, made this videopoem last year based on a text by Daniil Kharms, the early 20th-century Russian author of surrealist poems and absurdist short stories; “The Blue Notebook, No. 10” is one of the latter.

This is the second film based on this text that I’ve shared here. Compare Franco Geens’ version.

Man and Woman by Sergej Timofejev

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Edmunds Jansons made this video for a piece by the Russian-Latvian poet Sergej Timofejev, a member of the Orbita collective and a pioneer of Russian-language videopoetry.

Nidon (Condemned) / נידון by Haim Lensky

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A new poetry film from Israeli director Avi Dabach. According to the Wikipedia,

Haim Lensky (1905–1942 or 1943), also Hayyim Lensky, was a Russian poet who wrote in Hebrew. He wrote the bulk of his verse while imprisoned in several Soviet labor camps from 1934 onward.

Poem About Big BIGMOUSE by Ludmila Ulanova

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I’m spotlighting children’s poetry films and videos this week, a diverse collection of works by children as well as film-poems made by adults for children. This is an outstanding example of the latter. About BIGMOUSE (Про Мыху), animated by Constantin Arephyeff (or Arefiev, in a more standard Romanization) won the award of the children’s jury at the 5th ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival in 2010. This is the English version narrated by Stephen Coates, who collaborated with the author and a couple of other people on the translation. There’s also a Russian version.

As in many Eastern European poetry animations, the text is used as a jumping-off point for a different, more elaborate story-line. However, this also feels very familiar in the context of children’s literature, where the artwork in illustrated books often does much more than just illustrate.