Lebanese poet Yehia Jaber discusses his beliefs about war and peace, God and poetry, and recites one example of his work in Arabic (with English in subtitles). The British/Iranian filmmaker Roxana Vilk got help from Maryam Ghorbankarimi (editing) and Pete Vilk (music and sound design).
Yehia Jaber is also a visual poet — see Everitte.org for a beautiful and easily comprehensible example of vispo/concrete poetry in Arabic calligraphy.
Jaguar is a journey through a city. Underground and in the open air.
Imminent danger, a city full of people, unaware.
The poems are read by the authors. They include, in order of presentation, “You Are Jaguar,” by David Tomaloff; “Surfacing,” by Ryan W. Bradley; “You are the sound of sleepwalk waking,” by Tomaloff; and “You Are Jaguar” by Bradley. The poems are found in a recent book from Artistically Declined Press, You Are Jaguar.
Swoon blogged a bit about the film. He quotes Tomaloff on the making of the chapbook:
We wrote the poems 2 lines at a time without exception and very little discussion on where it was going. Then we edited all of the work separately, putting our own personal touches to work that was not wholly our own. Then we set the book up something like a bi-lingual book (side to side), signifying that each poem (left and right) are, in very real ways, translations of each other. In the end, I feel the reader makes the two manuscripts one. It’s one of those collaborations where NONE of it would have happened without two people; I know I couldn’t have written it myself!
Each of the three dresses in the Lace Sensor Dress collection is embroidered with a different poem, sourced from an antique embroidery sampler. Each poem evokes a different emotion, which corresponds to a gesture that triggers a recording of the poem to be played through tiny speakers crocheted into the dress. The sensors are created from custom-made conductive lace and the harder they are pressed, the louder the poem will play.
An anonymous Syrian poet muses on real terror versus sleep terrors:
The same man who is trying to shoot me is me. I have no face in the dream, I am the man and me. This horror of the dream stays long.
This film is one of three shorts I made during a week in Beirut in May 2011. The films were commissioned by Reel Festivals and Creative Scotland and the remit was make a series of short films “inspired by” the festival of poets. It was an amazing week, it’s not every day that you get to meet poets from Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Scotland.
We were also meant to go to Damascus but as the political situation worsened that leg of the festival was cancelled. However, I still wanted to reflect the current situation in one of the films, so I interviewed one of the Syrian poets about his dreams. That was the starting point for this film.
Twenty Second Filmpoem (the 22nd Filmpoem) is twenty 20 second Filmpoems; it was conceived when I was asked to do a pecha-kucha.org night. An interesting concept, you present 20 slides for 20 seconds; I thought I’d do something a little different, actually create some work for the event. I commissioned 20 writers, all listed below, to write flash fiction against some 1960s found footage I’d edited. It’s ambitious and inevitably some bits work much better than others, but for me it is imperative to push this a little, to leave my comfort zone. And invariable, all the writing is superb, and for that I am thankful.
I also took the opportunity of using Vladimir Kryutchev’s binaural field recordings, for which I thank him. His amazing binaural map of Sergiyev Posad in Russia is here: oontz.ru/en
See the rest of the description on Vimeo to read all 20 short poems. The poets are: Andrew McCallum Crawford, Mary McDonough Clark, Al Innes, Guinevere Glasfurd-Brown, Elspeth Murray, Janette Ayachi, Jane McCance, Donna Campbell, Ewan Morrison, Angela Readman, Gérard Rudolf, Zoe Venditozzi, Jo Bell, Sally Evans, Pippa Little, Tony Williams, Robert Peake, Stevie Ronnie, Sheree Mack and Emily Dodd. Dodd blogged about her part in the production. A couple of excerpts:
I received a link with a password for my film, it was number twenty (password twenty). The film was 1960s found footage and it was beautiful. Alastair had edited it to tell a 1 minute story.
I watched a woman in a white dress on her wedding day. She kept looking at the Best Man. I wrote my initial thoughts down and came back to watch it again, two days later.
My brief was to respond with a piece of flash fiction that could be read aloud within 10 seconds. Alastair wanted it to be short, two or three lines maximum, he said just a haiku in length.
When I was first commissioned I’d thought along the same lines as the bride… is this really me?
- What if I watch the film and have no emotional response?
- What if I can’t do flash fiction?
- What if my piece ruins the whole presentation?
And all of this ran through my head while waiting for a response from Alastair.
Thankfully, I had this reply within a couple of minutes:
No it’s bloody perfect x Baci x