Australian filmmaker Marie Craven demonstrates one way to get away with out-right illustration in a videopoem. Had she used footage of pinball games in a poem that references pinball, it would’ve seemed merely redundant, I think. But instead she hit upon the idea of using colorful still images (by Donald Bell) alternating with dark, silent-film-like title cards bearing the lines of the poem. Cut these images in time with up-tempo, pinball-esque music by CIRC, and rather than simply depicting a game of pinball, the video actually enacts or reproduces the effect of a highly kinetic ball careening around in an inert cabinet. “The whole thing / goes tilt.” And the poem is raised to a new level, I think.
A new poetry film by Avi Dabach with text by Mei-Tal Nadler and music by Harold Robin. Einat Weizman read the poem and Adriana X. Jacobs provided the English translation used in the subtitles.
Nadler won the 2014 Teva Prize for Poetry, whence this bio:
May-Tal Nadler is a poet and doctoral student of literature and Israeli culture at Tel Aviv University. Her first book of poetry, Experiments in Electricity, was published this year.
Nadler has previously won the Ministry of Culture’s award for poets for 2008 and was among the prize winners of the 2008 Poetry Along the Way competition, sponsored by the city of Tel Aviv. Her manuscript won the Leib Goldberg award for literary work.
Slumber has always smelled of vanilla,
yeast and semolina.
Doped up to doze,
the flesh augments; hunger
outsizes the sun
into a spectacle darkness might swallow.
Nic Sebastian‘s inspired remix of a poem by Sarah Sloat at The Poetry Storehouse with some gorgeous stock footage and music by David Mackey. I loved this when I first saw it two months ago, but somehow it never made it into the posting queue, which is especially surprising considering that Sloat is one of my favorite contemporary poets.
This is Five Miles (Simple Brushstrokes on a Naked Canvas) by Swoon (Marc Neys), made with the text of a poem from Fugitive Pieces, Howie Good’s new collection of poems. Here’s what Marc blogged about it:
So. A New year. New sounds. New videos. A big new project (more on that one later)
A solo exhibition (more on that one later) and
My first video of the year is Five Miles (Simple Brushstrokes on a Naked Canvas)
I first got the idea for this when reading ‘Fugitive Pieces’ by Howie Good.
It’s a great book of found poems published by Right Hand Pointing Press.
All proceeds from the book go to the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.
People who follow my work, know I’m a big Howie fan. His writing moves me and (very often) is a perfect fit for my videos and sounds.
In Fugitive Pieces Howie Good used the techniques of the collagist.
The poems are collages sourced from various texts as well as his own imagination.
From the author’s note:
This meant creation through destruction, lifting things from one context and dropping them into another, establishing unfamiliar relationships among familiar objects.
That sounds a bit like creating videopoetry. I often find myself using that same approach (especially when working with found footage or archive material)
I first created a track around samples I took from a documentary ‘Target for today’.
Only after creating that track I chose a poem from ‘Fugitive Pieces': Simple Brushstrokes on a Naked Canvas
The poem was the perfect match for my soundscape and would work well as ‘text on screen’ in a film composition.
I collected footage (from Videoblocks) to combine with certain lines from the poem. Played around with timing, font and placement of the text and started puzzling it all together. I believe it works well.
Click through for the text of the poem (or, you know, just watch the film).