I’m really pleased with the results of David’s piece—in terms of its quality of production and fullness of vision—and I’m honored that he examined and expanded my poem with such attentiveness to detail. The film captures the speaker’s dependence on her surroundings to make sense of her sensual experience, and it offers surprising visual nuance.
The unfurling of color and movement that the amaryllis provides feels necessary. Though in many ways the amaryllis serves to represent the lyrical speaker driving the poem, it feels like a surreal presence, which I quite like. I’m also really interested in the quivering soundtrack. It expresses the omnipresence of the snow and seems to hold the melt within it. Kellie Fitzgerald’s lush reading captures a longing that’s definitely present in the poem, and she gives it a force that makes me blush!
U.K. poet Simon Barraclough wrote the lyrical narration and provided the voiceover for this beautiful film by Carolina Melis (director) and Maria Zanardi (researcher/coordinator). It mixes live action with animation; the lead animators were Roly Edwards and Kwok Fung Lam. For more, see the film’s website [auto-play warning], which includes this brief synopsis:
The film tells the story of Anna, Rosa and Maria, weavers from Nule in Sardinia, who are taking part in a tapestry competition. Whilst Anna and Rosa try to impress the judges making by perfect and beautiful carpets, Maria surprises the village by creating an unexpected textile.
This appeared when Moving Poems was on hiatus this past summer, but I got to see it on the big screen at the Filmpoem Festival in August, where it was shown as an example of filmmaker-poet collaboration where the images preceded and inspired the poetic text. It’s part of a growing body of collaborations between Swoon (Marc Neys) and the American poet David Tomaloff (see his Moving Poems archive page for more). Neys blogged some rather extensive process notes in the form of a conversation with Tomaloff:
[Swoon]: Images will come from this video: http://archive.org/details/Mommartz_3_Glaser_1968
I’m doing a re-edit of that archive material and Maybe I want to add excerpts from ‘Das Kapital’ by Marx as titles. One thing missing: a poem that reflects greed, money – power, crisis, banks, the whole bubble of money driven economics that led to the different crises we had,…
Nothing literally…hints, atmosphere… Are you up for it? Let me know what you think…”
– TIME –
[David]: “…As for the new prompt, I can definitely give it a shot. I’ll see if I can conjure up a draft within the next couple of days. Is that ok?”
– TIME –
S: “Yes, sure. Take your time…I’m happy you want to go for it…”
– TIME –
D: “So, this is a draft. It’s a little more upfront than some of the other stuff I’ve written for you, I think. That said, it’s still pretty surreal. I want to still tweak it a bit, read it aloud a few times, etc”
– TIME –
S: “Yes! Yes. Fantastic title. Love the quotes.
Good imaging. The last line ‘Currency is a plot of land to which the wingless birds have marched us—on which we are sold the means to dig ourselves a more efficient kind of grave’ is spot on…
So yes, you’re definitely on to something. Tweak as you like and see fit.”
I couldn’t resist making a video for one of Donna Vorreyer‘s poems at The Poetry Storehouse myself. “Giacometti’s Pears” was originally published in Weave magazine. I blogged about my process a bit at Via Negativa last week.