Bird by Haide Rollo

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A videopoem of the purest sort, meaning that poem and video are one and the same, by filmmaker Helmie Stil with Haide Rollo assisted by Denise Saul. The project from which it and two others emerged sounds fascinating:

Silent Room: A Journey of Language is a collaborative video poem project funded by Arts Council England. Denise Saul, project founder and poet, and Helmie Stil, filmmaker, work with individuals who have the speech disability, aphasia, to produce a series of video poems. This second video poem is Haide Rollo’s Bird.

That’s the Vimeo description. Here’s the Silent Room website. About this film, it says:

Haide Rollo is a workshop participant and emerging poet. … Haide used prompts, writing and hand gesture to create a poem about silent places.

heyday by Shin Yu Pai

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A silent text animation by Michael Barakat, who worked closely with the poet, Shin Yu Pai. Shin Yu told me in an email last Sunday,

I created this piece with designer Michael Barakat for a civic festival for the City of Redmond, WA, where I am wrapping up a 2-year term as the city’s fourth poet laureate. We projected the piece on the side of City Hall at its annual Redmond Lights Festival which took place this past weekend.

Via Shin Yu’s blog, here’s a video (shot by Scott Keva James) showing what that looked like:

Blue Black Wet of Wood by Carmen Gillespie

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A film by Sundance Award-winning director Malik Vitthal for Motionpoems, based on the title poem from Carmen Gillespie‘s 2106 collection from Two Silvias Press. An adept juxtaposition of filmpoem lyricism with the kind of storytelling familiar to movie-goers conveys a powerful sense of the experience of loss within the African American community and beyond.

Motionpoems have also released a video interview with Gillespie, filmed and edited by Ramble Pictures, about the origin of the poem and the film:

Eric Doise, who conducted the interview, also put together a lesson plan for poetry teachers [PDF] based on the film and interview — the sort of thing I hope to see a lot more of in the coming years, both from Motionpoems and from other poetry-film makers as well.

The Nostalgia of the Poet by Gabriele Tinti

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A brilliant meditation on mortality from director Pasquale Napolitano, actor Alessandro Haber, and poet Gabriele Tinti, filmed in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples by Luca Lucrezio Catapano, with a soundtrack by Giovanni de Feo. Tinti writes on Vimeo:

The aim of my series of ekphrastic poetry is to reactivate the now lost aura of the work of art, of all those relics of worlds and heroes – of a humanity – that no longer exist. The sense of death, of fragility, of emptiness, even of our masterpieces that we would wish to be eternal, are the instigation for my work. In this way the work takes on new life and the poetry, by reference, finds an ideal body in which to take form. On the other hand, critical analysis always restricts the aesthetic and cultural range of a masterpiece. Because every time a work is analyzed it is defiled, an attempt is made on its irreducibility. Poetry is never reduced to an explanation. Real poetry is always beyond any calculation, any system, any geometry: it is incompleteness, evocation, lament, thrill.

Fairytale Romance & Fear of Monsters by R.A. Briggs

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A new videopoem by Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon uses text and voiceover from the American poet and philosopher R.A. Briggs. Other credits include:

Concept, editing, grading & Music: Marc Neys
Field recordings and footage: Jan Eerala
Extra Footage: FKY (from ‘The Sea Also Rises’)
webpage: vimeo.com/fky – Licence: ATTRIBUTION LICENSE 3.0
Thanks to Mazwai & Ray Hsu

shhh! by Leah Thorn

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A dance-infused poetry film by Leah Thorn and filmmaker Clare Unsworth about the systematic silencing of women — and the need to rebel against it. Leah told me in an email,

The poem was written out of a passion to challenge the invisibility of the many ways women are silenced and I tried it out in performance with many different audiences of women – in schools, universities, feminist groups, at poetry events and in prison. Clare and I then collaborated with three drama students at the University of Kent, Canterbury, England who interpreted the poem through movement.

This locally-produced, no-budget film has been screened internationally at feminist film festivals.

The dancer/choreographers are Kristin Bacheva, Vanessa Owusu and Elle Payne. The sound is by Daniel Battersby, with music by Jahzzar and Ars Sonor.

I Am A Woman by Jade Anouka

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Inspired by Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman,” actress and poet Jade Anouka enlisted the help of a huge cast to recite her text for the camera, resulting in a uniquely polyphonic presentation. See YouTube for the text and complete list of contributors. The music is by Grace Savage.

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