Body With No Windows by Annelyse Gelman

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A film written and directed by Annelyse Gelman, who also composed the music in the soundtrack. Her description on Vimeo:

Body With No Windows explores death and embodiment through a collage of faceless sequences from public-domain home video footage of a Pennsylvania family in the 1950s.

It was featured in Issue 152 of TriQuarterly, where video editor Sarah Minor wrote:

In “Body With No Windows” by Annelyse Gelman, “human faces have been elided,” first found and then lost. Here, the tensions between vocal annunciation and the sharp timing of archival clips showcase Gelman’s practiced hand at working in collage. A woman on camera walking alone becomes a mother holding a child’s hand just as suddenly as “the feeling that your body belongs to you” might go away. Gelman’s opening soundscape signals a kind of dread or apprehension. This tone is quickly disrupted by quotidian footage of sunbathers in crabgrass, yard dogs, and tandem swimmers curated from the Prelinger Archives. In a particular fleeting style that intermedia texts seem to capture best, Gelman asks us to recognize the uncanny that we only witness in the daily lives of others, that particular waiting “to be carried from what you cannot remember to what you cannot forsee.”

Washing Day by Cactus “Cathy” Chilly

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A haunting, incantatory videopoem from U.K. poet-filmmaker Cactus “Cathy” Chilly that raises disturbing questions about what we accept as normal and ordinary.

Vaccine by Christy Ducker

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I can’t say enough good things about this animated film by the ever-inventive Kate Sweeney. It works equally well as a poetry film or as a lyrical promo for vaccination; the transition from prose narration (by Dr. Mohamed Osman) to poetry half-way through is natural and powerful, and the poem by Christy Ducker is extraordinarily good. Here’s the description:

An animated film highlighting the research and fieldwork into finding a cure for Leishmaniasis, a chronic disease affecting millions of people in areas such as Sudan and Syria. The film was made as part of a collaboration between poet Christy Ducker and artist Kate Sweeney and scientists working at York University at The Centre for Chronic Disease.

Working in collaboration allows access to an other’s research, in this case, the work of scientists who are actively working to find a cure, and to study the causes and exacerbations of the Leishmaniasis disease. Dr Mohamed Osman sent me photographs he had taken when in Sudan of the people he was working with, trialing a vaccine for the disease. I was able to interview him, talk to him about my interests in stories and how we tell stories to frame experiences and use his response and his photographs in the initial part of the film. The second part of the film is an animated response to Christy’s poem that explores metaphorical links between medical vaccinations and the grieving process. Where the loose style of the first part of the film reflects the nature of conversation, the more structured animation in the second part reflects poetry’s structured, considered language.

Small Things Bind the World by Erica Goss

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This author-made videopoem by Erica Goss presents haiku in a really innovative way that I haven’t seen before. It was a Showcase Selection at the 2017 Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival. Erica writes:

I made this video last summer in my backyard. It’s a selection of haiku that seemed to tell a story, with big letters imposed over a glitter globe I bought at the MOMA-San Francisco gift shop. It’s somewhat nostalgic for me to watch this, as it’s one of the last art projects I did before moving from California to my new home in Eugene, Oregon.

Apartment Living by Meghan O’Rourke

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Elizabeth Masucci directs and stars in this adaptation of “Apartment Living” by Meghan O’Rourke — the second installment in Masucci’s ambitious poetry short film anthology series (Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman” was the first).

It’s always great to see professionally made, narrative cinema-style poetry films that seek to inhabit a poem and take it in new directions rather than just using it as a jumping-off point. Apartment Living compares very favorably with other recent, stand-out films of this type such as Lotus Hannon’s The Expiration (based on John Donne) and Laura Scrivano’s A Lovesong (based on Prufrock).

Endellion — excerpts from a poem by Emma McGordon

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Filmmaker Rhiannon Tate collaborated on this film with spoken word poet Emma McGordon and composer David John Roche. Endellion was “produced as part of Endelienta‘s Artists in Residence 2017, held in St Endellion, North Cornwall,” according to the Vimeo description.

Hat-tip: the Poetry Film Live group on Facebook.

Body Talk by Amy Bobeda

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“A video poem about the relationship between film, the body, and Lyme Disease,” Body Talk was written and directed by Amy Bobeda. It was one of the films screened last Saturday in Ashland, Oregon as part of Cinema Poetica.

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