Nationality: Spain

Angelofania / Angelophany by Sergi García Lorente

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Text and film by Sergi García Lorente (be sure to click on the CC icon for English subtitles). Paula Berrido Aceña is the actress. García Lorente notes on his website that he “studied Audiovisual Media in order to connect audiovisuals with poetry, to emphasize word’s beauty by visual and audio impulses.” On his About page, he writes:

Poetry is everywhere. Poetry’s beauty lies encrusted under wounds’ shallowness. So we have to scratch the scab and let us bleed. That’s what I try to do with poetry, photography and cinema. There’s too much beauty inside every single thing. It doesn’t matter how hard or high or intense is poetry’s commotion; my will is to catch those endless emotions and impress them through something I’d like to call art.

I was struck by this choice of words, since Poetry Everywhere was the name of one of the first large-scale poetry video projects in the era of YouTube and Vimeo, launched by the Chicago-based Poetry Foundation back in 2008. The notion of films that could be available to people anywhere in the world with a fast internet connection was then still an exciting novelty.

But enough of my old-man rambling. I thought this video made for an interesting follow-on to the previous three videos I’ve shared, all also made by the poets themselves, and each also depicting or representing female desire in some way. Those poet-directors were women, though, and the contrast in choice of images is striking. I don’t mean to pick on Mr. García Lorente; the tension between titillation and aesthetic epiphany has obviously been at play in the treatment of nudes throughout Western art history, and this is a well-done film. But it’s interesting to see how many more aesthetic possibilities emerge when the made becomes the maker.

Out of Reach (Rain Night) by Jorge Díaz Martínez

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A 2014 film by Pablo Diartinez and Erik Parys that’s been out of reach to web viewers until now, making the indie film festival rounds and racking up a bunch of awards — and rightfully so. It’s a beautiful film. Here’s the summary from IMDb:

‘Out of reach (rain night)’ is the first installment in ‘From the pages of Album’, a series of short films adapting the poetry of Jorge Diaz Martinez to the screen in a collage of animated graphics, texts and live action. ‘Out of reach (rain night)’ finds the series’ protagonist, a nameless poet in Brussels, seeking shelter and a place to sleep in a tram stop, while memories of lost friendship and love invade his clouded mind and the screen. The poem for this episode, a ‘found object’, paints a state of incommunicado and evasion.

Music and sound are by T.S.E.G. (Thomas Giry). For more on the poet, see his blog; the Pages of Album has its own website and Facebook page. I’ll be following the progress of this “fusion cinema poetry book” with great interest.

Adondar a lingua / Kneading language by Celia Parra

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A videopoem by Galician filmmaker-poet (and videopoetry blogger) Celia Parra. There’s also a version without English subtitles. The Vimeo description:

“Kneading language” speaks about love for language and the emotional roots that connect us to it. It explores the role of family in transmitting affection for our culture and traditions.
FESTIVALS
– Nominated to “Best Valentine” at Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival (USA) 2016
– Selected at Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival (USA) 2016
– Selected at Ó Bhéal Poetry-Film Competition (Ireland) 2016
AWARDS
2º Prize for videoart (ex aequo), Xuventude Crea 2016

According to the credits, Parra was responsible for poem, voiceover, camera-work and editing, while the soundtrack was composed and recorded by Alejandro Almau. I must say, as an amateur baker, I was fascinated by the footage, and have a sudden urge to make Galician empanadas. Northwest Spain is apparently where the empanada originated.

Antesala altísima / Lofty Anteroom by Estefanía González

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Spanish poet Estefanía González appears as one of three actors in this film interpretation of her poem from director Eduardo Yagüe. The English translation in the subtitles is the work of Jean Morris, and the music is from Swoon‘s album Time & River.

The poem appears in González’s 2013 collection Hierba de noche, which, according to this webpage, was born in large part from her activity on blogs, Twitter, and other social networks and internet collaborations. So it seems especially appropriate that her work should now be the subject of further web-based collaboration and transformation. As a blogging poet myself, I love her description of her outlook:

Sigo desperdigando poemas y semillas por las cunetas. Sigo vertiéndome como un jovenzuelo infinito. Sigo prefiriendo lo por venir a lo obrado. La perfección aún me recuerda a la muerte, cualquier elección me recuerda a la muerte. Quizá se trate de inmadurez. Seguramente.
(I keep scattering poems and seeds into the gutters. I keep pouring myself like an endless youth. I still prefer whatever is coming to what’s already been made. Perfection still reminds me of death, any choice reminds me of death. Maybe it’s immature. Surely.)

Primera magnitud / First magnitude by Josep Porcar

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An author-made, bilingual videopoem by the Catalan poet Josep Porcar, using as a text the first poem from his new collection, Nectari. (There are also versions in German and Spanish, as well as the original.) Porcar has been making video remixes for other people’s poems for years now; this is the first I can remember with one of his own poems. The translation here is by Isabel Prieto, the music by Max Richter, and the footage by Uzay Sezen. (As a plant geek, I was pleased that the passion flower is identified in the credits, including the Latin binomial.)

El hombre hueco / The Hollow Man by Ángel Guinda

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A poem by the Spanish poet Ángel Guinda in a film interpretation by Sándor M. Salas of Anandor Producciones. Mohsen Emadi provided the English translation used in the subtitles, and the music is by Anacinta Alonso. I shared another Guinda/Salas collaboration back in 2014, but was reminded about this one by a share at the The Film & Video Poetry Society Facebook page — currently one of the most popular and active alternatives to Moving Poems for a steady stream of good poetry videos. (They’re also on Twitter, for the Facebook-phobic.)

“Y era el demonio de mi sueño” (And he was the evil spirit of my dreams) by Antonio Machado

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Y era el demonio de mi sueño, el ángel
más hermoso. Brillaban
como aceros los ojos victoriosos,
y las sangrientas llamas
de su antorcha alumbraron
la honda cripta del alma.

—¿Vendrás conmigo? —No, jamás; las tumbas
y los muertos me espantan.
Pero la férrea mano
mi diestra atenazaba.

—Vendrás conmigo… Y avancé en mi sueño
cegado por la roja luminaria.
Y en la cripta sentí sonar cadenas,
y rebullir de fieras enjauladas.

(poema de Antonio Machado)

And he was the evil spirit of my dreams, the most handsome
of all angels. His victorious eyes
shot fire like pieces of steel,
and the flames that fell
from his torch like blood
lit up the deep dungeon of the soul.

“Would you like to come with me?” “No, never! Tombs
and dead bodies frighten me.”
But his iron hand
gripped my right hand.

“You will come with me…” And in my dreams I walked
blinded by his red torch.
And in the dungeon I heard the sound of chains
and of beasts stirring in their cages.

(translated by Robert Bly)

Eduardo Yagüe (GIFT Producciones) made this videopoem in 2014 as an homage to the great Spanish poet Antonio Machado on the 75th anniversary of his exile and death. Eduardo’s reading is exceptionally good, and slow-paced enough that even those with just a little bit of Spanish should be able to follow along. Music by Jared C. Balogh accompanies the voiceover.

I first learned this poem (number LXIII from Galerías) through Robert Bly’s translation (above) in Roots and Wings: Poetry from Spain 1900-1975. (Alan S. Trueblood also translated it for a bilingual edition of the selected poems, but not quite as effectively.)