Nationality: United States

All American by David Hernandez

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If the films released so far on their website are any indication, Motionpoems‘ 2014 season is their most stylistically diverse collection of poetry films to date. This film, released just before Independence Day in the U.S., builds on the poem’s challenge to any easy assumptions about American identity. (It’s also slightly NSFW, with glimpses of female nudity.) Here’s the description from the website:

Filmed near Lake Geneva Switzerland (and at the Large Hadron Collider at Cern), British filmmaker Richard Johnson and dancer Jasmine Morand present this francoperspective on California poet David Hernandez’s all-inclusive poem, “All American.”

Click through and scroll down for the text.

There’s more than one filmmaker named Richard Johnson, but I’m guessing this is the proper filmmaker and website. For more on the poet, visit DavidHernandez.com.

Hij morrelt aan je ziel / He fumbles at your Soul by Emily Dickinson

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This is Dickinson’s poem F477 (1862)/J315, translated into Dutch by J. Eijkelboom and into film by Marc Neys, A.K.A. Swoon, who says he began with an old reading he had made of the poem, building an experimental soundtrack around it.

The track was (except for the electronic ‘drumthumbs’ in the back) completely constructed out of (altered) sounds I made with my mouth. A fun experiment. For some reason the track worked quite well with that old recording. Maybe there was a short video in it too?

Keeping a similar kind of restriction as I did with the sounds, I wanted only one short piece of footage in the video; leaves.

The whole thing was created in one afternoon (and it probably shows), but I had fun doing so. Keeping it simple and fresh.

A fun inbetweenie stuffed between longer videos and ongoing projects.

Aphorism by Eric Burke

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A brief Eric Burke poem at the Poetry Storehouse made into a film by Jutta Pryor with music by Masonik. The poem originally appeared in A cappella Zoo before its second life in the Poetry Storehouse, and frequent Storehouse contributor Othniel Smith has also envideoed it.

Aerial Manoeuvres by Robert Peake

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A new poetry film from the husband-and-wife team of Robert Peake and Valerie Kampmeier. Peake posted the text to his blog along with some brief process notes, which are worth quoting in full, since they show how organically the film developed:

I had a feeling of the kind of film-poem I wanted to create here, something about flight. I used Blender to render a flock of birds and then composited them together with historic aviation footage from the Prelinger Archives. The poem wrote itself after that, and Valerie’s piano accompaniment followed. We also recorded birdsong on an H1 Zoom and looped it to create a backdrop of sound.

Strawberry Moon by Erica Goss

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My fingers find the grit
of your chin
like the seed-crowded
tips of strawberries
we stole and ate
in darkness…

This is the 6th installment in the 12 Moons videopoetry series presented by Atticus Review each month in 2014, featuring Erica Goss (text), Nic Sebastian (voiceover), Kathy McTavish (music) and Marc Neys, A.K.A. Swoon (concept, music and direction). Neys shared some process notes on his blog:

A lush short poem that I wanted to give an extra dark layer by adding a bit of ‘danger’.
I went back to the public domain feature Dementia 13 for the footage.
A nightly rendez-vous with a lot of staring between the two characters.
Leaving the story open and full of questions…

I started to work with certain parts of that footage.
Once I had a basic montage, I awaited Nic’s reading to work on a soundscape with musical blocks provided by Kathy.

White Fur by Mark Wunderlich

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Motionpoemslatest production was directed by Georgia Tribuiani, an adaptation of a poem by Mark Wunderlich. The Motionpoems website includes bonus materials for the video: interviews with the filmmaker and poet by Jeannie E. Roberts, who writes:

As I watched Georgia Tribuiani’s motionpoem, “White Fur,” I was instantly drawn into her world of light, color, and contrast. Tribuiani sets the scene beautifully and powerfully within Switzer Falls, a wooded area in the San Gabriel Mountains, Los Angeles County. The albino deer, depicted as an African-American albino man, runs barefoot through the woods, where he follows the banks of a stream, eventually stopping to look at his reflection within a pool of water. Tribuiani imagines a story that is, in her own words, suggested: She envisions the albino deer as Narcissus: a young man, mesmerized by his own reflection, who falls in love with it and eventually drowns. Though not necessarily the intent of Mark Wunderlich’s poem, Tribuiani creates a stunning metaphor, a poem within a poem. All great poetry has layers, and this director has found another layer with thought-provoking elegance and creativity.

Read the interviews.

Mostly about a color by Jenene Ravesloot

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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.

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