My fingers find the grit
of your chin
like the seed-crowded
tips of strawberries
we stole and ate
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.
All the flowers in my country have been picked
And gunpowder planted instead.
Fragrance breathes its last
In a torture camp.
The very lane where hand in hand with you
I have danced to the music of peace,
There a death-dealer is spread-eagled.
Ammar Aziz directed this poetry film featuring Pakistani poet, writer, and women’s rights activist Attiya Dawood, accompanied by dancer Suhaee Abro. Be sure to press the icon marked “CC” at the bottom of the video to view subtitles in English, Sindhi or Urdu, or click through to the Umang website to read the text in all three languages.
A brilliant animated poem from Zbigniew Czapla, a Polish screenwriter, director, animator, painter and graphic artist. It was recently featured on Tin House Reels, accompanied by one of their usual engaging write-ups.
Zbigniew Czapla created this week’s Tin House Reels feature, This World—a short based on the poem of the same title by Czeslaw Milosz—at the invitation of the Fundacja Pogranicze, as part of a multimedia exhibition at the Museum of Czeslaw Milosz in Krasnogruda. Czapla calls his project “a catastrophic vision and poetic perspective on human life as a set of secrets, accidents, and misunderstandings.”
“Poetry is a difficult subject for animation,” Czapla said. “It should at all costs avoid banality, infantile associations, and overwrought pathos. The text and sound work together around themes, as in jazz improvisation. Topics connect, overlap, and move away from each other in a game of associations.”
“Animated experimental film is a way for me to combine my various fascinations. Painting, music, theater and literature are like pieces of a puzzle, which I try to organize in a new way. If the end result for me is mysterious and unknown, that it is worth doing. The expected effects do not interest me. A lot of the work ends up being unsuccessful, but that always comes with artistic risk.”
Motionpoems‘ latest 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.
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.