Usually, the American poet and electronic literature expert Matt Mullins makes his own poetry films, but for this one he teamed up with Spanish director Eduardo Yagüe, providing only the poem, voice and music. The poem is dedicated to the Soviet artist Eva Levina Rozengolts (1898-1975), a drawing of whose appears in the credits. According to the Museum of Russian Art website,
Eva Levina-Rozengolts was one of the few Soviet artists who managed to creatively transform and express the trauma of Stalinist repression in a striking visual language.
Trained in the celebrated VkHuTeMas, the hotbed of early Soviet avant-garde, Eva Rozengolts worked as a textile designer and later a copyist at the Soviet Artists’ Union production studios. She was arrested in 1949 and sentenced to ten years of exile in the depth of Siberia where she lived in a settlement on the Yenisei river, in the Krasnoyarsk region. She was assigned to work as a woodcutter, wall painter, and later medical assistant. After returning from exile, she regained her creativity, undeterred by age and failing health. In fact, it was after her return from Siberia, that her talent came into its own. Unknown to the broad public, her work stirred the attention of the new generation of unofficial artists that emerged after Stalin’s death. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Eva Levina-Rozengolts became recognized as one of the outstanding figures of the ‘lost’ artistic generation of the Stalin era.
Yagüe shot the film in Stockholm with actress Carolina Rosa.
This short video by Allen Wheeler in support of Ed Madden’s poetry collection Ark has two things I love: time-lapse photography and a single, continuous shot from one position. The flooded field in the shot is presumably even more full of light than the field referenced in the text, but given the nature of photography, it’s hard to see how anything less would have worked. The piano music by Kai Engel was found on the Free Music Archive, according to the credits.
Hong Kong-born British poet Sarah Howe’s poem is brought to the screen by Amabel Stokes, credited with screenplay, directing and editing. The camerawork is by Raquel Orendain Shrestha and music by The Cinematic Orchestra. Howe shared the video in a public Facebook post, writing:
I was really touched when, out of the blue, an English student called Amabel Stokes emailed me to say she’d made a film out of my poem, ‘A Painting’. Amabel is Eurasian too, and I confess at the spot in the film when she moves the paintbrushes like chopsticks, I spontaneously burst into tears. Maybe it was just the Stephen Hawking-film music working on my heartstrings(!), but I’m really, really impressed at what the kids can do these days.
A video by Lisa Seidenberg with text on screen from The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Volume 1. Though the text wasn’t a poem in its original context, its poetic quality taken out of that context and its juxtaposition with lyrical images and a dark ambient score make this more of a videopoem than anything else, I’d say. The Vimeo description reads:
A quote from the writing of Anais Nin, known best for her erotic memoirs is interpreted through dream-like expressionistic images and tantalising original score by composer Karl Warner. Filmed in Antibes, France.
For more of Seidenberg’s work, see her Vimeo channel.
Ted Hughes reads “The Door,” “Crow’s Vanity,” and “Crow Hears Fate Knock on the Door”—three poems from his 1970 tour de force Crow—in this stunning animation produced and directed by Yoav Segal. The other animators were Alasdair Beckett King, Nandita Jain, and Aindri Chakraborty; Leafcutter John was the composer and Holly Waddington the art director. See Vimeo for the full credits, which include this note: “The material started life as part of the Handspring UK theatrical production ‘CROW’.” Segal has uploaded a theatre clip from that production, which is interesting for comparison’s sake: