Nationality: United States

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.

Black Woman by Olufunke Adeniyi

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“Shot with a 16mm film Bolex, this film depicts an identity that has always existed, but rarely acknowledged,” notes poet-filmmaker Olufunke Adeniyi on her Tumblr blog. Black Woman won Best Production 1 Minute or Under at Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival 2017, and was a finalist in both the Best Sound/Music and Best Overall Production categories. Toks Adeniyi is the actress and Faith Osunde provided the voiceover; the score is by Olufunke Adeniyi and Jay Moh Productions.

Dancing Lesson by Rachel Kann

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I’ve been championing the dance category of videopoetry for years, so I was pleased to see this worthy representative of it take the top honors at last weekend’s Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival. Written and performed by “modern-day mystic” Rachel Kann, with choreography by her and Jhon Gonzalez, and directed by Brad (Bradford L.) Cooper, it won Best Overall Production and Best Sound/Music (the work of Cooper and Atom Smith). See YouTube for the complete credits and Hevria for the text.

Blue by Erica Goss

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The latest author-made film from Erica Goss, who included these process notes in the description:

During the summer of 2017, my brother visited me from New York City. He wanted to get a tattoo, so we found High Priestess in Eugene, where I had just moved. I asked my brother and the tattoo artist if I could film the procedure, and they agreed. I had a poem, titled “Blue,” that I wrote in 2014 after listening to the Joni Mitchell song of the same name. The poem mentions tattoos, so I thought it would be a good fit with the subject of the video. A technical note: I did no color correction on the video except for the last scene, where I increased the light and contrast slightly. The room was fairly dark, so the spotlights show up as a bit blown out. I like the effect and didn’t want to change it.

The music is by Kevin MacLeod.