Variations on the Word Sleep by Margaret Atwood

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A short film from the teen-aged South African director Nathan Nadler-Nir that tells its own story, contrapuntal to Atwood’s poem in the soundtrack (read by Adrian Galley).

Summer’s End by Kaspalita Thompson

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To mark the equinox, here’s a new, author-made videopoem by Kaspalita Thompson, a Pureland Buddhist priest and psychotherapist from Worcestershire. In the Vimeo description, he notes:

The words are by me. Special thanks to everyone who created the other various bits and shared them under licences which allowed me to use them. Credits at the end of the film.

This was as a much a process of getting to know lightworks, which I used for the first time, as creating a videopoem.

Consider the Space Between Stars by Linda Pastan

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Linda Pastan’s poem, read by Scott Gentle, is featured in this film, Consider the Space, directed by Aaron Kodz and Frida Regaza. This particular upload is from Newintown, but the actual production company was apparently Big Block Live. Henry Zaballos’ cinematography won a 2015 Silver Telly Award. For more credits, see Shoot magazine.

Not surprisingly, considering the directors’ previous clients, this has a bit of the look and sound of a television commercial. But hey, Linda Pastan! The poem was published last year in the Paris Review, and is included in Pastan’s 14th book of poems, Insomnia, due out from Norton in October.

A post in The Inspiration Room quotes Aaron Kodz about the film:

“Consider the space between words on a page” begins the poem by Linda Pastan, and we set out to capture that feeling of the moments that make us. Not the events in our life, but the little spaces in between that develop us into who we are. New York was the perfect backdrop, as it is itself a canvas of 6 million stories. Many of these tales do not make headlines, but even the small, quiet moments in our lives define who we are and what we become. “Consider the Space” explores these little moments in life, and the common threads that bind us all together.”

Dolphins (excerpt) by Inua Ellams

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Inua Ellams‘ contribution to Refugee Tales, a project dedicated to “walking and sharing Tales until indefinite immigration detention ends in the UK.” The film was made by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, shot and edited by Shanshan Chen with additional camera work by Amelia Wong and original music by Paul Mottram. I found this via a post in the excellent online magazine Aeon:

‘No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.’

Occasionally, stories of refugees fleeing desperate circumstances in their home countries make the mainstream news cycle – usually following the horrifying discovery of dozens found dead in transit on land or at sea. But much more frequently, the trying and terrifying journeys of migrants to find a safer place to live go all but ignored.

Having escaped the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, Nigerian-British writer Inua Ellams knows something of the migrant experience, but he says that the nightmarish journeys of refugees is still something he can hardly fathom. Nevertheless, in Inua’s Dolphins, Ellams adds insight and artfulness to the migrant experience by transforming the stories of children who have fled their homelands into poetry, imbuing the horror with a humanity that is compassionate but clear-eyed.

Nadien / Afterwards by Marleen de Crée

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you will take your leave of this place
but this place will not take its leave
of you. it is an illness with a voice
that surrounds you. that voice was wet.

A poem and film that seem to speak to the situation of refugees and exiles in Europe and beyond. Flemish poet Marleen de Crée provided the text (from her forthcoming book Druppelpunt) and voiceover, and the English translation in the subtitles is by Willem Groenewegen. Concept, camera, editing and music are the work of Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon, who notes:

It was the first part of the poem that gave me the idea of showing a person not being able to escape; from her past, from what she did, from her encounters. From who she is…

We have this papier-mâché bear in our house (it will also be used in another video, later this year) that was the perfect prop for this video.
Katrijn Clemer played the woman (and was also responsible for making the bear, years ago).
Once everything was shot (all in one afternoon), the editing process was easy. It all came together perfectly.

I’m very happy with how this one worked out and I consider it one of my best for this year…

This is Swoon’s sixth film made with a text by Marleen de Crée.

The Lie by Anne Waldman

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This is “a random recipe in piecemeal,” according to its creator:

Improvised Movement: Merzili Villanueva
Poem: Anne Waldman
Text Rearrangement + Reading + Audio Recording: Merzili Villanueva
Videography + Video Editing: Merzili Villanueva
Filmed July/August 2015
© 2015 Merzili Villanueva for Let’sLiterasee

Waldman’s poem is first recited in its original form (concluding at 1:43), followed by a condensed selection of lines—a repetition that works well in this context.

Instrucciones para cantar / Instructions for Singing by Julio Cortázar

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*

A comically literal, manic interpretation of Cortázar’s text, directed by Adrián Suárez with the Akira Cine production company. Other credits include Juan Carlos Gonzáles, director of photography; Real Music, sound design; and Alexander L’Estrange, music. The English translation appears to have been adapted from this one.

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