This well-filmed dance interpretation of a poem by Ella Jane Chappell is one of ten shortlisted films for the Southbank Centre’s inaugural Shot Through the Heart Poetry Film competition. Katie Garrett of Garrett and Garrett Videography directs, with choreography by Anna-Lise Marie Hearn. The dance company, AniCo., has a webpage about the film. The text is worth quoting at length for the insight it gives into dance-focused poetry videos, an important subset of poetry video generally:
Rolling Frames is an intimate and personal look into the scenarios of three very different relationships that are affected and manipulated by dependency.
At the heart of Rolling Frames are a series of shifting voices and characters that inhabit three very different relationships. These relationships are linked by the role that dependency plays in each. To some extent, every relationship involves a yielding of independence. The poem dissects this manner of yielding: the manifestation of greed in desire, the vulnerability in love, the loneliness in lust.
The physicality and inner rhythms of the words are translated once over by the expressive movements of dance, and once again through the gaze of the camera’s eyes.
This entertaining piece by Keary Rosen (text and voice) and Kelly Oliver (filming and editing) is featured in TriQuarterly, one of three videos that kick off the latest issue. The magazine’s mishandling of submissions recently sparked a kerfuffle in the American writing community, suggesting that they may be having growing pains, and they remain out-of-step with web publishing norms in preventing their own videos from being shared on blogs and social media sites (or even viewed on Vimeo) — strong evidence that they have yet to fully transition from the scarcity mentality of print publishing to the abundance mentality of the web. But I continue to be encouraged by their foregrounding of multimedia work, and I wish more web journals would follow their lead in that respect.
UPDATE (24 July 2014): I’m pleased to report that all TriQuarterly films are now embeddable.
The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival has just announced the 29 nominees for its 2014 competition, and this is one of them. It’s also a Vimeo Staff Pick — testimony to the high quality of the animation and production. Tytus Majerski’s description reads:
Stop-motion mixed with CG, short film based on a polish lullaby written by Janina Porazińska. Author of original music unknown. Performed by Maria Peszek.
A home made project, which I graduated with at my film school in Poland.
It combines cut out animation and 3d set-ups.
Janina Porazińska (1888-1971) specialized in children’s poetry, fairy tales and other folkloric material. The translation used in the titling is by Magda Bryll.
Mar Belle reviewed the film for the blog No Film School:
Have you ever noticed how parents seem to delight in terrifying their children? Whether it’s old wives tales of wind changes leaving their faces contorted or the devil stealing their souls post-sneeze, there are endless ways for adults to keep children in a perpetual state of fear. However, the cruelest has to be those moments before bed, when they’ll soon to be abandoned to a long, dark night with tales of cannibal witches or bone grinding giants stalking through their heads. Depicting the tragic story of a love triangle between a king, a princess and a page, Tytus Majerski’s atmospheric adaptation of Polish writer Janina Porazińska’s lullaby Once There Was a King, is cut from the same gruesome cloth that keeps nightlight companies in business.
she says that she
is learning to be immortal
although it has not
she’s trying to learn
to stop eating she says
distracts the body
from its truth…
Indiana-based graphic designer and poet Dave Richardson, best known in the videopoetry world for his 2012 piece “The Mantis Shrimp,” combines forces with poet Kathleen Roberts to make this affecting and effective videopoem “for the upcoming show With Sirens Blaring at the Prøve Collective in Duluth, Minnesota, August 8-23, 2014.” I usually find it distracting to have a poem appear both in the soundtrack and in words on the screen simultaneously, but somehow Richardson makes it work. He gives a bit more detail about the exhibition on his blog:
Prøve Collective, in Duluth, Minnesota, will display a body of work linking poetry to visual, film, and sound art. Pursuant to a grant from the McKnight Foundation, award-winning Duluth poet Kathleen Roberts is creating an assembly of films and artwork by local and regional artists based on her words. These works will be displayed permanently on her website and in Prøve’s August exhibition, “With Sirens Blaring,” August 8-23, 2014.
Nic Sebastian’s latest video remix incorporating a text from the Poetry Storehouse uses a soundtrack by Elan Hickler. The poet, Jen Karetnick, blogs at A Body at Rest. See her full collection of poems at the Storehouse for a bio.
This film was selected as the winner of the Open Competition at the 2014 Filmpoem Festival in Antwerp (part of the Felix International Poetry Festival). The description accompanying Filmpoem’s upload to Vimeo:
Naar Wat We Waren, a film by Lies Van Der Auwera of the poem by Eric Joris is just terrific. We chose this as the Filmpoem Prize for reasons which will be clear as soon as you watch it – a real melding together of sound word and image. There are many beautiful poetry-films, lush and sumptuous. This is not one. This is real, alive and honest. Congratulations to all involved!
The film was produced collaboratively by the Poetry Prophets: Eric Joris (poem and voice), Kristof Van Rossem (music) and Lies Van der Auwera (camera and editing). There’s also a version without subtitles. It’s part of a collection of videopoems that emerged from a workshop led by Marc Neys (Swoon) at a creative writing program in Antwerp.
This is exciting to me because it shows that videopoetry workshops can be an integral part of writing programs, and that they can produce highly effective, publishable results. (Here’s the English translation of the writing program page from Google.) American MFA program directors, take note!