We are disasters
on the edge of our own shores,
dreaming and woken.
about us. If sea can break
so can shore and cliff.
I was delighted to run across this on Vimeo the other day: director Colin Ramsay‘s film for a poem by one of my favorite British poets, George Szirtes. I remembered seeing him post about the filming on Facebook back in August:
Today we film three poems dealing with flood from Mapping the Delta. The poems will be recorded here at lunchtime then we head out to Happisburgh to ascend lighthouses and church towers and possibly to drop dramatically into the sea at an opportune moment of erosion. Where is my Tennysonian cloak when it is needed?
Szirtes also shared the producer’s series of photos from the shoot. Here’s the Vimeo description:
Surge – based on a poem by George Szirtes from his 2016 poetry book Mapping the Delta. Shot on location in Happisburgh, Norfolk, England.
Directed & edited by Colin Ramsay
Produced by James Murray-White
Camera by James Uren
Music – Lost Frontier by Kevin Macleod
Shot on an Ursa 4K mini using Samyang 24mm & 50mm prime lenses, graded in Premiere.
This is Aum Shinrikyo, directed by Noah Conopask. On Vimeo, he describes how he came to make it:
On a recent shoot in Tokyo I was incredibly inspired by Japan and everything I was seeing around me visually. The streets, the people and the fashion. I learned about a doomsday cult called Aum Shinrikyo (Japanese オウム真理教) that let off deadly sarin nerve gas in Tokyo’s subway system 20 years ago. The attack was the worst in modern Japanese history. It made me think of Dylan Thomas poems about life and death. It was something I wanted to bring to life cinematically. I had a vision of a few of the cult members walking around Tokyo. Staking out the attack, the way thieves would a bank heist.
Poem: ‘And Death Shall Hall No Dominion’ Excerpt by Dylan Thomas
Directed by: Noah Conopask
Production Company: The Sweet Shop
Cinematography: Garrett Hardy Davis
Edit: James Dierx at Whitehouse Post
Voice Over: Vivian
Color: Seth Ricart at RCO
Producer: Larissa Tiffin
Talent: KO3UKE Onishi, Kenji Araki, Percy
A wonderful, too-short animation by Australian artist and former research scientist Nicholas Kallincos. He says on Vimeo that it’s an “Experimental mixed media animation made in collaboration with UK spoke word poet, Jason Brennan in 2005. Soundtrack by Cornel Wilczek”.
It could be my Google-fu just isn’t very good today, but I’m not able to find anything about Brennan online aside from this.
A black-and-white poetry film from 2011 which somehow escaped my attention until now. Paul Farley recites his poem in the soundtrack. The film was edited by Sam Meech, one of four people who share the credit for making the film. The others are Tim Brunsden, Steve Clarkson and Markus Soukup.
This was actually the second film to be made with this poem. The first came out in 2009, a performance-style video imaginatively shot by Paul Beasely.
(Hat-tip: ZEBRA Poetry Film Club.)
As her ambitious Book of Hours has unfolded, it’s been fascinating to watch Lucy English‘s poetry evolve and adapt to the online video medium and to the exigencies of particular film-making styles. Here’s how Stevie Ronnie, her collaborator for this film (along with composer Jim Ronnie), describes their process at Vimeo:
Lucy and I wanted to try something different as a way of kick starting the collaborative process for Dark Place. It started from a desire to work on something that was going to become part of Lucy’s Book of Hours poetry film project. Poetry films often begin with the words or footage or sound but we decided to start from a colour palette. I created a palette and sent it to Lucy and she wrote the poem from the colours. Lucy then sent me a couple of drafts of the poem and, after spending some time digesting Lucy’s words, I decided to respond to it visually. Using the colours that I found in Lucy’s poem I rendered the poem as a painting, where each mark on the canvas represents a letter in the poem. I then captured this process as a series of still images which have been strung together into the film. The soundtrack, performed by my father Jim Ronnie, was composed and added during the video editing phase as a response to the poem’s images and the words.