An exemplary spoken-word poetry film directed by Dave Tynan, featuring actors Jordanne Jones and Deirdre Molloy as well as the poet himself, Emmet Kirwan. It was selected for Special Mention this past weekend by the jury of the Weimar Poetry Film Award, on which I was honored to serve along with animator Ebele Okoye and writer Stefan Petermann. Our statement, translated from the German:
What questions can a poetry film take? Perhaps: in what kind of a world do we live? And in what kind of world do we want to live? In a stirring manner, Heartbreak pursues this question. The film by Dave Tynan tells the story of a young, Irish girl who unintentionally gets pregnant and had to raise her son all on her own. At the same time it is the history of a misogynist structured society and this, not only in Ireland, but everywhere in the world. Carried by the passionate, multi-faceted oration of the Spoken- Word poets Emmert Kirwan, an efficient camera and a wise narration Heartbreak plays around the questions of self-determination about own bodies, objectification, sexism and gender roles. The film succeeds in an impressive way, to translate the powerful words into touching images while remaining clear and direct. Tynan and Kirwan know how to arouse empathy, stimulate thoughts concerning a situation, but above all, anger!, yet, looking into the future with confidence. Heartbreak is a feminist poetry film for women and men. Courageous, angry, heartbreaking; an exclamation mark. A film the world must see. C’mere, C’mere, C’mere.
The YouTube description notes that it was “commissioned and developed by THISISPOPBABY as part of RIOT, Winner of Best Production at Dublin Fringe Festival 2016.” To date it has been viewed over 1.3 million times on Facebook and 201,000 times on YouTube, where it has inspired a lively discussion, with the usual #notallmen idiots vastly outnumbered by those resonating with its message.
In some ways I feel it’s more difficult to make a super short videopoem than it is to make a long one, but animator Liah Honeycutt pulls it off. She notes that this is
The third installment in my visual poem collaboration with Josh Jacobs. This piece explores the themes of distance (in time and in physical space) and apathy, and attempts to capture the empty nostalgia that comes with looking back on bad memories after the pain has worn off. I decided on a very analog approach to the execution after being inspired by Josh’s original portfolio layout, opting to let the imperfections show through and stand as a metaphor for the human experience.
Come Down by Sylvan Esso
Special thanks to Dean Velez.
A film interpretation of a Rose Auslander poem by the documentary filmmaker Lisa Seidenberg. I’ll be traveling to Europe soon myself, and this videopoem is helping me psych myself up for it.
Reading the English Wikipedia entry on Ausländer, I was struck by this factoid:
In the spring of 1943 Ausländer met poet Paul Celan in the Cernauti ghetto. He later used Ausländer’s image of “black milk” of a 1939 poem in his well-known poem Todesfuge published in 1948. Ausländer herself is recorded as saying that Celan’s usage was “self-explanatory, as the poet may take all material to transmute in his own poetry. It’s an honour to me that a great poet found a stimulus in my own modest work”.
Without the image, Celan’s poem wouldn’t have been nearly as powerful. Quite a “borrowing.”