Poet: Carol Novack

Refuge by Carol Novack

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Another poem by Carol Novack adapted for film by Jean Detheux. (I shared Destination back in March.) Here’s Detheux’s description on Vimeo:

Just weeks before she died in December 2011, Carol Novack sent me “Refuge,” a prose poem she hoped I could create a movie with/for/to.

We had already done two movies together, “Civil War” (vimeo.com/26869484) and “Destination” (vimeo.com/26782140), and I also did the cover and over a dozen illustrations for her book “Giraffes in Hiding” (tinyurl.com/d93v9lv).

“Refuge” was a challenge, the first two movies were done with the voice of Carol reciting her own work, she of course was no longer alive to record her text. That’s when Donald Meyer, the composer who created the sound track of “Destination,” agreed to help. He enlisted Victoria Johnson who provided the voice, and he began working with the recording, mixing, arranging, to finally give me the audio that became the base for the images.

I am not sure this is the “final” (video) version (hence “sketch 1”), but given December 29 is the anniversary of Carol’s death, I wanted to publish it as a celebration of her memory.

I hope she found her town, her refuge.

Destination by Carol Novack

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

A poem by the late American poet Carol Novack in a film adaptation by the Belgian-Canadian filmmaker Jean Detheux, who notes on Vimeo that

This is the second film I made based on a text written and recited by Carol Novack (1948-2011).
The first one, “Civil War,” is here vimeo.com/26869484.
The text of “Destination” (and “Civil War”) can be found in the book “Giraffes in Hiding: The Mythical Memoirs of Carol Novack.” (tinyurl.com/d93v9lv)
Music by Don Meyer.
The images dialog with the narrative while following their own logic.
The images were made from a series of photos taken by my son Georges (he was 15 at the time of writing these lines) during a trip to Belgium, photos he then assembled in beautiful panoramas (used here as well).
Here’s an example: tinyurl.com/9q5l7j2 (other movies made with his help are here: vimeo.com/tag:georgesdetheux)

I processed his images in a variety of applications (Still Life, Studio Artist and especially, Final Cut Pro).

Carol Novack died of cancer on December 29, 2011. She had so much left to live, to share, to write!
May she have found her town!

There’s a good bio of Jean Detheux online in Madhat 15, accompanying another film made with a Carol Novack poem, Refuge. I particularly like this bit:

[Detheux] focuses on the importance of the hand gesture in image making (“le geste révélateur”), and especially, on the exploration of “inherent animation” (that which is done/found “by accident”), avoids “smarts” like the plague, believes that the conceptual approach is at a dead-end.