This film by Jutta Pryor is especially interesting for what it does with the soundtrack, a psychedelic interweaving of the reading by Nic Sebastian and a track called “The Ritual and the Delusion Part 1,” by the musicians’ collective Masonik. The poem, by Chicago-based poet Jenene Ravesloot and first published in CC&D Magazine, is from the Poetry Storehouse, where Sebastian herself has also posted her own, quite different video for the same text.
Spanish filmmaker Eduardo Yagüe has made two different films, one for the English-language original and one for the Spanish version of this poem, including an additional actor in the latter film. The poem and reading by Nic Sebastian are from the Poetry Storehouse, and Luis Yagüe supplied the Spanish translation. The author, L.L. Barkat, is among other things Managing Editor at Tweetspeak Poetry, which features poetry videos on a regular basis.
As long as The Poetry Storehouse stock keeps growing with more and interesting poems and writers, I’ll keep coming back.
For this work I picked out a poem by Helen Vitoria. I worked with Helen before a few years back and I love her choice of words. Pure and rich.
Those who have been watching my last series of videos know that I’m a fan of the ‘home movies’ that are collected
at IICADOM. It’s such a rich and beautiful collection. To be able to take a peek in all those lives… Create your own stories… I truly enjoy that.
For this poem I wanted footage from a wedding.
Young people in love on the beginning of their journey.
A lot of wedding footage on IICADOM, but this stood out (for me) Beautiful B/W, brutal cuts. Faces full of joy and hope.
I thought these images would make a great pairing with Helen’s poem.
Poem by Denise Duhamel read by 65 poets including Terrance Hayes, Richard Blanco, Collin Kelley, Michelle Buchanan, Diego Quiros, Emma Trelles, Amy Gerstler, Maureen Seaton, Matthew Hittinger, Stephen Mills, Major Jackson, Duriel Harris, more. Video is part of the FIXATION gallery event taking place at the Zhou B Art Center April 2014.
Poet Denise Duhamel explains in a note at the end of the video that
I chose for my “Fixation” entry jealousy, a very human reaction under certain circumstances, but one that I am embarassed to have. I used “googlism” to search Jealousy, as though it were a person or place. There are four googlism choices: who, what, where, and when. When I searched Jealousy under “when,” there was nothing, only this message: Sorry, Google doesn’t know Jealousy. I knew instantly this would be my title. I collaged the lines from the other three googlisms for jealousy, pruning away the repeats. Many of the lines that pop up on googlism are truncated in some way, and I let those stand, as it seems to me they imply a hesitation, a shame in finishing the thought about this very vexing emotion.
For more about Fixation, see poetsandartists.com.
The poem originally appeared in qarrtsiluni.
Promises are there to be broken (the ones I make to myself, that is)
I’ve said never to use the footage of Ivan Besse again. I didn’t.
Not until I came across ‘Two Miles After the Gravel Road Ends’ by Sherry O’Keefe in The Poetry Storehouse.
Sherry was one of the poets I did a video for in ‘my early days’. A videopoem and a collab that is still dear to my heart.
It was a pleasure to find her words on the shelves of the warehouse. Such beautiful words.
A lot of her poems tell stories. Great chunks of life wrapped in words and images. And these were just a perfect match for the storytelling images of Ivan Besse.
This video remix by Nic Sebastian of a poem by Risa Denenberg layers in footage of one of those natural sights that moves us at a very primal level, I think — rain falling into water — to very good effect. In some process notes on her blog, Nic writes:
Poems on big metaphysical themes are some of the most rewarding to work as video remixes, because they leave the visual field wide open and give the remixer real opportunities to insert him or herself into a poem’s narrative and move it forward in complementary but different ways. This lovely poem by Risa Denenberg at The Poetry Storehouse was a case in point. I read it as beautifully capturing one of those devastating moments of big doubt we sometimes encounter.
Which is where it got personal. The belief I try to live by is that we are lying fallow during such bleak periods, and that, their awfulness notwithstanding, they are at the same time periods of underground preparation, restoration and growth. So I went with that approach. I thought rain, with its double connotation of weeping/mourning and of life-inspiring nature, was the perfect backdrop metaphor. [...]
For the cross-fades, I chose images with very personal connotations for me, but which I thought added the right ‘universal’ overtones of the twin companions, loss and hope. All of them jumped out at me as being ‘right’ as I flipped through my clips library. Ending with the bear family at the end might perhaps be a more upbeat conclusion than originally intended in the piece, but the image was insistent, so I went with it. The soundtrack with its lonely piano and melancholy motif and underlying energy was by Mustafank and really felt like rain to me.
There’s a bit more if you click through. I must say I’m grateful to Nic for blogging about her techniques and thought-process in such detail with almost every videopoem she makes.