With Halloween and Day of the Dead looming, here’s a film from the long-time videopoetry collaborators Stuart Pound (images) and Rosemary Norman (words). The synopsis from Vimeo:
A ghost actor haunts his screen life, and is haunted by it, to the clicking of a projector. What you see is scraps of film under a microscope, with its sprocket holes, oily colour, and accumulated fluff and dust.
Contusion was one of the first poems I wanted to make a video for (5-6 years ago) but I never got a satisfying result out of the process. This time tried a film composition with text on screen and I had a clear idea what kind of images to use. […]
I composed a track especially for this project. Called it ‘Don’t look at me’ (and kept the appropriate title for the film composition) [Bandcamp link].
I had to re-edit the length of the composition to the footage I had gathered. Contusion is a rather short poem (compared to some of her other works).
A lot of night and dusk. Dim images. I especially wanted the footage of a swimming lake (deserted and empty) by Bart van der Gaag. Also some snow and winter footage by Jan Eerala, stuff filmed by me and a few pieces of Videoblocks. I composed all the footage to the lines of the poem (using a small and almost unreadable font and placement of the text by times) and the pace and feel of the soundtrack. I also graded some of the footage for an even darker feel.
As I said before; I’m happy with this one.
Play full screen (and preferably with headphones!)
A brilliant South African videopoem about homelessness from filmmakers Lesiba Mabitsela and TAUNYANE (Mandlakatixo Shonhiwa) and poet Thabiso Nkoana, AKA Wordsmith, adapting Nkoana’s poem “Hi Jack.” Mabitsela notes that
The idea of perspex over cloth came during flashbacks of visits to my grandmother. The need to display but at the same time protect that which is valuable. It forces us all to reflect on our value systems and which of those systems benefit the people of Cape Town.
This is my poem film Red Line Haiku which was commissioned by South Dublin Libraries as part of the Red Line Book Festival 2015. The film was shown at the Civic Theatre Tallaght on Wednesday 14th October and Thursday 15th October as part of the festival.
The film maker was Bao Zhu, a student at Ballyfermot College of Further Education and we filmed in September 2015. My thanks to Bao who did a excellent job!
Shots of, or taken from, moving trains are a staple in poetry film, but seldom is the text focused on the train (or in this case tram) itself. The Red Line is one of two lines in Dublin’s light rail system, running “in an east-west direction through the city centre, north of the River Liffey, before and travelling southwest to Tallaght, with a fork to Citywest and Saggart,” according to the Wikipedia.
Literary festivals commissioning poetry films is a great trend, if it is a trend yet. I hope so! I’m running across more and more instances of it.
UPDATE: Read Lori Ersolmaz’ essay on the making of the film at Moving Poems Magazine.
This is Fourteen Photos from the Bridge, the winning film from last month’s Big Bridges poetry film contest, sponsored by Motionpoems and the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, and I’m pleased to say that the filmmaker is someone we’ve regularly featured here: the New York-based, grassroots multimedia content producer and visual storyteller Lori H. Ersolmaz. Here’s some of what she says about it on her website:
My submission was based on the winning poem by Leonard Gontarek, Thirty-Seven Photos from the Bridge. Expressing fourteen of the thirty-seven stanzas, I used original footage shot in Paris and Belgium and filmed locally during summer 2015. I’m especially excited about this award as it provides me with an alternative visual storytelling approach to social issues. I submitted the film in an effort to open dialogue about the current need to address structurally deficient bridges and infrastructure.
There’s a good bio of Leonard Gontarek at the Poetry Foundation.