Motionpoems are really going from strength to strength these days. October’s offering is a powerful, highly effective film based on a poem by Michalle Gould. The film was directed by Diego Vazquez Lozano and Statten Roeg of Detachment East with a talented cast of actors and original music by Lozano and Claudio Aguilar Riquenes. (See Vimeo for the full list of credits.)
Motionpoems also produced a short video of Gould discussing her reaction to the film—
as well as a longer, text interview about the poem, conducted by Kevin Danielson. The whole thing is worth checking out, but I particularly liked Gould’s concluding remarks:
I really enjoyed the experience of seeing my poem made into a film. What I love about poetry is that there are so many different ways to read a poem, and having a film made out of your poem is a really unique way to view someone else’s perspective on your work and what they get out of it. Because I wrote this poem so quickly and instinctively, I’m not sure I had ever really sat down and reflected on what I actually meant by it, and I think this whole process has helped me understand it better than I did before.
Gould also blogged about the premiere of Motionpoems’ 2015 crop of films last May.
Even though I don’t like Charles Bukowski, I love this poetry film by Adrián Suárez, which functions in part as a demonstration of just how much can be packed into (slightly more than) one minute. The production team is pretty much the same as with Instrucciones para cantar / Instructions for Singing, including Juan Carlos Gonzáles as director of photography.
The music in the soundtrack is, as usual, Marc’s own composition. It’s also included on his Timorous Sounds album.
Linda Pastan’s poem, read by Scott Gentle, is featured in this film, Consider the Space, directed by Aaron Kodz and Frida Regaza. This particular upload is from Newintown, but the actual production company was apparently Big Block Live. Henry Zaballos’ cinematography won a 2015 Silver Telly Award. For more credits, see Shoot magazine.
Not surprisingly, considering the directors’ previous clients, this has a bit of the look and sound of a television commercial. But hey, Linda Pastan! The poem was published last year in the Paris Review, and is included in Pastan’s 14th book of poems, Insomnia, due out from Norton in October.
A post in The Inspiration Room quotes Aaron Kodz about the film:
“Consider the space between words on a page” begins the poem by Linda Pastan, and we set out to capture that feeling of the moments that make us. Not the events in our life, but the little spaces in between that develop us into who we are. New York was the perfect backdrop, as it is itself a canvas of 6 million stories. Many of these tales do not make headlines, but even the small, quiet moments in our lives define who we are and what we become. “Consider the Space” explores these little moments in life, and the common threads that bind us all together.”
This is “a random recipe in piecemeal,” according to its creator:
Improvised Movement: Merzili Villanueva
Poem: Anne Waldman
Text Rearrangement + Reading + Audio Recording: Merzili Villanueva
Videography + Video Editing: Merzili Villanueva
Filmed July/August 2015
© 2015 Merzili Villanueva for Let’sLiterasee
Waldman’s poem is first recited in its original form (concluding at 1:43), followed by a condensed selection of lines—a repetition that works well in this context.
Oh my beloved country
When I sing of your separation
I return to myself
But all I hear in return,
Is the language of guns…
A poetry film in the style I like to think of as illustrated spoken word—a style that works particularly well for poems that blend the personal and the political. Sofian Khan of Capital K Pictures directed. Here’s the Vimeo description:
An exiled Pakistani poet finds fresh inspiration in his new home, while reflecting on the tragedy of partition that has left a legacy of war and strife in his beloved land. Fragments of a globalized world seem to coalesce here on fifth avenue, strung together in the poet’s mind.
Directed by Sofian Khan / Cinenmatography – Bob Blankemeier / Original Score – Joshua Green / Sound + Mix – Evan Manners / Animation – Will Clark / Makeup – Jackie Push / Starring – Arik Hartman
The English translation is by Annie Ali Khan. I couldn’t find a website for Hasan Mujtaba, but he’s active on Twitter.
Filmmaker E’lisha Holmes, A.K.A. E’lisha Jule, approached Langston Hughes’ three-line poem in the same way some poetry filmmakers like to approach haiku, with the text coming at the end as a culmination of, or a response to, the footage. Given the subject matter here, this approach allows an effective, oblique resolution of the film’s mounting tension.