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.

The End or the Beginning by Jan Lauwereyns

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The origin of this recent videopoem, Diving into Broken Bits (The End or the Beginning) by Marc Neys (A.K.A. Swoon), is a little complicated, so I’ll just quote his blog post about it:

A while back I made a video for ‘Het einde of het begin van een mensenleven / The end or the beginning of a human life’
This poem by Jan Lauwereyns (you can read about the videopoem) has an extended English version (published in the book ‘Three Poems To the Question of Four. 27+3 Drawings’)
Because they were so obviously connected I wanted to create a second video for the English poem; ‘The End or the Beginning’

I asked Michael Dickes to read/record the poem and he delivered a perfect (dark blue with bits of fading grey) reading. I created a very slow and deep track around that recording [...]

This time I didn’t want to use IICADOM footage. No family memories. The video needed to be more abstract.
The first thing I wanted to use was an experimental performance/recording by Ephemeral Rift.
The mask and movements in this short video reminded me of bunraku. It was the perfect link to Jan’s frame of mind.
(Jan lives and works as a scientist in Japan)
This video was going to be the lead in my videopoem. I added a variety of images around this storyline. Hints of science, nature, death,…
A poetic storyline through images. It’s a flow of thoughts surrounding the poem, being a flow on itself…

I am very happy with this one, so was Jan. We started a journey together with this project. It will take us to other places, new ways of combining, crossing borders. More to follow in the future…

Hare by Carolyn Jess-Cooke

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Irish poet, writer and visual artist Melissa Diem’s translation into film of a piece by the Belfast-based poet Carolyn Jess-Cooke, another of the commended poems from the 2013 National Poetry Competition. One of the judges, Julia Copus, said of it:

The carefully controlled domestic setting of this poem is held in a tense balance with the uncontrollable wildness of the outside world. Here, a common disquiet – centring on the fragility of a newly-created life – is freshly captured by the surprising image of a hare, that could at any moment go bounding off for good over the night fields.

The Poetry Society and Alastair Cook’s Filmpoem project deserve commendations of their own for enabling such inspired poetic collaborations as this.

Birdfall by Danica Ognjenovic

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Adele Myers’ filmpoem for a poem by the Yorkshire-based poet Danica Ognjenovic is one of a number of commended poems from the Poetry Society’s 2013 National Poetry Competition, all of which have now been released in film interpretations following their debut at the Filmpoem Festival in Antwerp last weekend. Matthew Sweeney, one of the competition judges, had this to say about the poem:

The poets of Eastern Europe perfected a spare, imagistic kind of writing that left the reader to complete the poem. All was suggested, nothing was spelt out, no explanations were given. So is it with this little poem. The narrator recounts that after three hours at sea, birds fall onto their boat, rest awhile, then take off again. There’s not much information given, but it’s enough to suggest the strangeness and fragility of life.

Tu t’es toujours trompé (You’ve always been wrong) by René Daumal

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Being aware is not a still state,
it’s an act.
If you think about that
when you’re part of a crowd,
you’ll see yourself surrounded by sleepwalkers.

René Daumal was a “French spiritual para-surrealist writer and poet” (Wikipedia), here adapted to video by Katia Viscogliosi and Francis M., A.K.A. Derviches Associés, in a piece that was included in the 6th ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival (October 2012, Berlin) and the “Cinéma fragile” installation at Lyon International Contemporary Art Biennial, Résonance (November 2011).

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.

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