Nationality: U.K.

Leaving at Day Break by Catherine Ayres

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This is one of a new series of videopoems by Anglo-Breton poet Claire Trévien — Day Six of the first videopoetry advent calendar of which I’m aware. As with most of the others in the series so far, it presents the poem (this one by Northumbrian poet Catherine Ayres) as text-on-screen accompanying a deft remix of video and audio from the web:

Components:
Two videos, one from Beachfront B rolls: http://beachfrontbroll.com, the other from Justin Jason: https://vimeo.com/57236261
Music is ‘Grass’ by Silent Partner
Sound effects from http://soundbible.com by Mike Koenig and stephan
Collaged together by Claire Trévien

Subscribe to CTrevien on YouTube to follow along as the advent calendar unfolds.

The Multi-Storey Car Park at Trenchard Street by Damon Moore

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A good place-based videopoem by Damon Moore (words) and Kate Moore (film). The YouTube description reads:

In recovery after cancer treatment at Bristol Royal Infirmary, I attended a one-to-one counselling session. Despite being given an all clear, I had entered a prolonged state of sadness that was proving difficult to shake off. My scheduled meeting with the psychiatrist fell flat but returning after the session to Trenchard Street multi-storey car-park, noticing how Bristol streetscapes combined in archaic patterns, I realised how we can unconsciously link long-lost events from the past into a continuous mindscape. This is the ‘Bristol’ referred to at the conclusion of the poem, a metaphor for our tendancy to internalise ‘cities’ of sadness.

Damon indicated in an email that he and Kate have just begun to get into making poetry films. I asked him about their process, and he answered:

Our departure point is the location and we tend to fix where we are going with the edit at an early stage after reviewing the footage. For example, with Trenchard Street, we decided to go with the final long shot so parked that in the last half of the film and then designed speeded-up and staccato sections in the first half to complement. I know there are filmmakers who work out all the details beforehand and I am a big fan of the Billy Collins films which must take a great deal of time to plan, but both Kate and I like to plunge in and get all nitty and gritty.

View more of their films on YouTube.

Transmission by Chris Sakellaridis

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A gorgeous animation by Afroditi Bitzouni accompanies a recitation by the Anglo-Greek poet Chris Sakellaridis. The echo effect makes it a bit hard to understand at first, but the text is included at the end of a review at The Creators Project, which begins:

Animated paper cutouts a la Henri Matisse come together to form a visual representation of a poem influenced by the Greek mythological character Orpheus. In Transmission, illustrator and animator Afroditi Bitzouni interprets Chris Sakellaridis’s poem of the same name through a form of collage animation. The seamless fluidity of Bitzouni’s animation resembles the work of Matt Smithson in his Decoding the Mind video. Taking cues from a chilling score by John Davidson, Bitzouni creates fragmented landscapes and abstract humanoids from scraps of colored paper. The majority of the cut outs are grain layer construction paper while others look like they were taken from a magazine or book.

The film is part of the 3361 Orpheus project,

an experimental performance, that combines poetry, music, animation, dance and opera. Ιt draws inspiration from a range of retellings and adaptations of Orpheus’s myth.

The performance’s concept is based on a triptych. The dismemberment and subsequent journey of Orpheus’s head from the river Evros to the island to Lesvos and the creation of his Oracle near the Petrified Forest. The spatial, disembodied, satellite voice coming from the constellation Lyra, where the lyre was placed after his death. The fate of Orpheus’s limbs, buried near Mount Olympus.

The main characters in the narrative are Hermes, in his capacity as psychopomp and transporter of dead souls; Eurydice, recounting her own experience, in the form of shade and dryad, as well as memory; and Orpheus with his lyre, which is seen as a fourth character, a creature alive with its own vital energy.

This is Bitzouni’s second appearance at Moving Poems. Back in 2014 I shared her animation of Night by Tasos Livaditis, a video from Tin House magazine’s late, lamented videos section, Tin House Reels.

My dad’s bigger than your dad by Dave Viney

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Sometimes the only thing a poetry film needs to be great is to demonstrate an advanced understanding of play. This film by Jo Lane does just that. She describes it on Vimeo as

A visual representation of a poem by the mancunian poet, Dave Viney.
‘My dad’s bigger than your dad’ is not only a nostalgic chant that everyone has memories of, but a poignant metaphor for many current political scenarios. [link added]

Myles Sketchley Mercer composed the music.

Ted by Jon Constantinou

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This author-made filmpoem by British filmmaker Jon Constantinou, co-directed by Jake Balfour-Lynn with actor Rick Stupple, was my favorite finalist from this year’s Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival, where it won Best Sound/Music. Michele Caruso was the sound designer. As Rabbit Heart organizer Sou MacMillan noted at Moving Poems Magazine, “You could hear every crackle of the fire, the scrape of the blade against whetstone, and grind of pencils being sharpened, all under a gentle and moving score.” For my part, I thought it was a great example of a film-poetic whole that’s much more than the sum of its parts.

Wake Up by Tolu Agbelusi

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A poetry-film collaboration between London-based Nigerian poet Tolu Agbelusi and director HKB FiNN of JustJazz Visuals. Somehow the poem’s story of an interpersonal cycle of abuse seems appropriate to the political moment.

Check out a couple of additional films on the Video & Audio section of Agbelusi’s website.

What is Love? by Lucy English

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This latest addition to Lucy English’s Book of Hours poetry-film project was directed by Lori H. Ersolmaz, with English reading her poem in the soundtrack.

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