Nationality: United States

Years After You Die by Simone Savannah

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A highly personal, author-made videopoem by writer and doctoral student Simone Savannah. Like yesterday’s video, this was recently featured at The Continental Review.

In a 2015 interview with the Phoenix Rising Collective, Savannah discussed some of the family history that she also drew upon in this poem.

Translations (from The End of Something) by Kate Greenstreet

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A fascinating experiment in bilingual videopoetry from the always inventive Kate Greenstreet. Here’s the description on Vimeo, with italics and links added:

Based on early versions of poems from The End of Something translated into French by Alexander Dickow for the anthology Ligatures: Poets of France and America (Catala Press, 2017). Featuring the voice of Virginia Konchan speaking the French lines and a short video clip of Amaranth Borsuk (“the girls are gone”). This video first appeared in The Continental Review (thecontinentalreview.com).

It’s good to see The Continental Review, one of the oldest online poetry video journals, still putting out issues. Browse their latest material here. And be sure to visit Kate Greenstreet’s webpage for The End of Something to download a free music EP and watch three more videopoems based on texts in the forthcoming book. Ahsahta Press’s description begins:

In curating cartography together with lyric, poly-vocality with loneliness, and even the unspeakable with common speech, poet and artist Kate Greenstreet has created a surprising hybrid with The End of Something. The intimacy in Greenstreet’s partial narratives and slow admissions contrasts with much of what we consume as Americans, which is fleeting and feigns being “factual.”

Body With No Windows by Annelyse Gelman

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A film written and directed by Annelyse Gelman, who also composed the music in the soundtrack. Her description on Vimeo:

Body With No Windows explores death and embodiment through a collage of faceless sequences from public-domain home video footage of a Pennsylvania family in the 1950s.

It was featured in Issue 152 of TriQuarterly, where video editor Sarah Minor wrote:

In “Body With No Windows” by Annelyse Gelman, “human faces have been elided,” first found and then lost. Here, the tensions between vocal annunciation and the sharp timing of archival clips showcase Gelman’s practiced hand at working in collage. A woman on camera walking alone becomes a mother holding a child’s hand just as suddenly as “the feeling that your body belongs to you” might go away. Gelman’s opening soundscape signals a kind of dread or apprehension. This tone is quickly disrupted by quotidian footage of sunbathers in crabgrass, yard dogs, and tandem swimmers curated from the Prelinger Archives. In a particular fleeting style that intermedia texts seem to capture best, Gelman asks us to recognize the uncanny that we only witness in the daily lives of others, that particular waiting “to be carried from what you cannot remember to what you cannot forsee.”

Small Things Bind the World by Erica Goss

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This author-made videopoem by Erica Goss presents haiku in a really innovative way that I haven’t seen before. It was a Showcase Selection at the 2017 Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival. Erica writes:

I made this video last summer in my backyard. It’s a selection of haiku that seemed to tell a story, with big letters imposed over a glitter globe I bought at the MOMA-San Francisco gift shop. It’s somewhat nostalgic for me to watch this, as it’s one of the last art projects I did before moving from California to my new home in Eugene, Oregon.

Apartment Living by Meghan O’Rourke

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Elizabeth Masucci directs and stars in this adaptation of “Apartment Living” by Meghan O’Rourke — the second installment in Masucci’s ambitious poetry short film anthology series (Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman” was the first).

It’s always great to see professionally made, narrative cinema-style poetry films that seek to inhabit a poem and take it in new directions rather than just using it as a jumping-off point. Apartment Living compares very favorably with other recent, stand-out films of this type such as Lotus Hannon’s The Expiration (based on John Donne) and Laura Scrivano’s A Lovesong (based on Prufrock).

Body Talk by Amy Bobeda

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“A video poem about the relationship between film, the body, and Lyme Disease,” Body Talk was written and directed by Amy Bobeda. It was one of the films screened last Saturday in Ashland, Oregon as part of Cinema Poetica.

Stolen Moments by Luz Emma Cañas

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Ella Quinn was 17 years old when she directed this film written by Luz Emma Cañas. It’s the winner of the Shoots! Youth Prize and finalist for Best Overall Production at Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival 2017. A new addition to the festival this year, the Shoots! Youth Prize was sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association and, judging from the finalists, received some very high-quality submissions.

See the PARTICL3 blog for more about all the members of the production team for Stolen Moments. Ella Quinn’s bio gives some background:

Ella is part of the family production team, PARTICL3, along with her brother Adrian Miles and mother Luz Emma. She served as Creative Director on their first short film, Pas de Deux, which was “Official Selection” at four international film festivals. She also contributed to the fine details of production from script editing to wardrobe selection. Stolen Moments is Ella’s directorial debut and is “Official Selection” at two film festivals for young filmmakers, Young Filmmakers Film Festival and Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival.

And here’s the synopsis:

Stolen Moments is the third in a series of four dance shorts that tell stories of women of color, relationships and intimacy. This story takes place during the Roaring Twenties. From fashion to sexuality, Evelyn is breaking free from societal norms established by the Victorian Era. She is the center of a love triangle with two ladies, Harper and Lily. One love is repressed while the other is realized but not publicly. Like Pas de Deux, our debut film, there is no dialogue in this short. It relies on poetry and visuals to tell the story. The film features three Sufi poems from the book, “Stolen Moments: A Lover’s Recourse,” by Luz Emma Cañas Madrigal who also produced and acts in both films.

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