Just your standard Shelley zombie flick. Rather heavy on the bogus production company credits but otherwise a memorable addition to the videopoetry corpus, I thought. Joseph Blackwell directs and narrates. Oh, and here’s the poem in case you need a refresher:
We are the clouds that veil the midnight moon;
How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,
Streaking the darkness radiantly!–yet soon
Night closes round, and they are lost forever:
Or like forgotten lyres, whose dissonant strings
Give various response to each varying blast,
To whose frail frame no second motion brings
One mood or modulation like the last.
We rest.–A dream has power to poison sleep;
We rise.–One wandering thought pollutes the day;
We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep;
Embrace fond foe, or cast our cares away:
It is the same!–For, be it joy or sorrow,
The path of its departure still is free:
Man’s yesterday may ne’er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but Mutability.
This is “Verse Versus…” by Australian artist Anna Glynn. Though marred a bit by her watermark, it still seemed worth sharing for the extent to which it captured the oddness of the Lear poem — and oddly, won first prize from a local historic preservation group.
Anna Glynn was awarded first prize in the Historic Houses Trust’s 2009 Meroogal Women’s Arts Prize for her work ‘Verse Versus…’, a digital video art work which brings characters from Edward Lear’s poem ‘The New Vestments’ to life against a backdrop of images of the Historic Houses Trust property, Meroogal.
Contemporary Australian artist Anna Glynn works in a variety of media – this evocative short film features her original artwork: drawing, painting, photography, sound, animation and video/film SFX. Glynn’s main interest is in narrative works, in expressing this essence of “place”, either physical or temporal.
This video is the work of Tasmanian “freelance visualisation consultant” Peter Morse. The music was composed by Glenn Rogers and performed by Alistair Foote, Penelope Reynolds and Samantha Podeu. Morse describes the project as follows:
The Video & Text
Percy Bysshe Shelley’s classic poem (1818) is used in the video in relation to romantic and Neoclassical architecture, with particular reference to Boullée and Speer, as a kind of critique of the ideology of power articulated by these architectures. The poem ‘Ozymandias’ is a vivid portrayal of the vanity of demagoguery and monumentalism, explored here as a trope for the moral ambiguities of these unbuilt architectures, that stand as fascinating historical symbols of the folly of certain types of power, albeit from varying political persuasions. The strong counterpoint of the ‘modernity’ of the score with the inflated Neoclassicism of the architecures is an attempt to dramatise the counterpoint of these different aesthetics, both of which have struggled for power in this last century. Ironically, these buildings will ever be as virtual as they are here: fictions of history re-imagined via computer simulation.
Ozymandias is mostly based on the enigmatic minor and the enigmatic major scales. These are rather unusual and obscure scales not generally associated with Western music. In the more polyrhythmic and densely orchestrated sections the inversions of both these scales are used. In some sections notes from the enigmatic scales act as pedal points (tonal centres). From these pedal points are used their associated harmonic series and their inversions to generate a palindromic type of effect. These techniques were largely employed as formal compositional methodologies and may not be obviously audible in the music.
Note: This was the ‘blurb’ from the “Liminal” interactive CD-ROM (2000). The video was made on a Mac in 1998, using 3D animation and compositing, with footage shot in Berlin.
After being given an artist and a poet at random we were asked to select a poem and use inspiration from the artist to create a motion piece under the title “Words in Motion”.
Joshua Casoni may not have gotten the title or all the words quite right, but this is still the most imaginative video interpretation I’ve seen of the poem. Doug Toomer stars at the homeless man. Casoni was assisted by Jake Doty on camera and sound.
A poem by George Szirtes, translated into film by the London-based video production company Atticus Finch for a British television series called Poems on the Underground (not to be confused with the long-standing project of the same name that places poems “in tube carriages across London”).