Poe’s 1849 poem in a 2014 adaptation by Catalonian poet Josep Porcar with cinematography by Tomás Baltazar, a voiceover by Tom O’Bedlam and a Catalan translation by Txema Martínez Inglés in subtitles. The actor is Luis Carvalho.
This delightful film by Tom Jacobsen (Pixel Farm) was one of the winners of Motionpoems‘ Big Bridges Film Festival in Minneapolis last year. Sophie Jacobsen is the actress and Jesse Marks provided the sound mix. The many nods to selfie culture recall some of the best video work of Alt Lit poet Steve Roggenbuck.
For more on the poet, Jessica Jacobs, see her website.
A poem by Jessica Goodfellow adapted to film for Motionpoems by Alex Hanson and Edward Chase Masterson of Commandr studio. See Masterson’s Vimeo upload for a full list of credits, which appear to have gone missing in Motionpoems’ otherwise fabulous new website design.
Released on January 1, this was the last episode (as they’re now calling them) in Motionpoems’ Season 6, which was produced in partnership with VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and featured a lineup of all female U.S. poets. As with the others in this season, there’s a bonus interview with the poet. Here’s the final question and response:
What was your initial reaction to seeing the motionpoem?
I don’t know what I was expecting, but I had to watch the movie two or three times before I could take it in, because its story line was so different from the poem. I was all the while captivated by the the textures in the imagery, the childlike yet knowing voice of the narrator, the mystery of the film, those actual crows (I had expected animation since I did not think real animals would be feasible) and that final striking image. Even now, though I’ve watched the film a dozen times, it remains mysterious to me, but that’s the genius of what Alex Hanson and Edward Chase Masterson have done—adding layers of mystery rather than in trying to explicate the poem. Because of their film, the poem has become a deeper, more moving experience, one that evokes a despair in me that I did not expect.
William Carlos Williams’ own recitation of his poem is included in the soundtrack of this animation by Isaac Holland. The video is part of the Poetry of Perception series commissioned by Harvard for its Fundamentals of Neuroscience course.