This brief documentary on the making of the three poetry films to emerge from the 2010 ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival workshop (see the previous three posts here to watch videos of the films) is a must-watch for anyone interested in ekphrastic collaboration. I was particularly impressed by poet Monika Rinck’s remarks on the life of a poem beyond the page, and her interest in avoiding the sort of filmmaker who might over-interpret a poem:
I like poems and I think also movies about poems to guard a certain openness. I don’t want to have the pictures in the poem locked, as if it couldn’t be otherwise, as if the pictures of the movie override everything which was open before.
I also liked her collaborator Avi Dabach’s admission that he is better able to connect with poems that he doesn’t fully understand, implying that the making of a poetry film is a kind of close reading or exercise in hermaneutics.
The world’s premiere poetry film festival, ZEBRA, in Berlin, has now begun sponsoring the production of new videopoems as well, as the video description on Vimeo makes clear:
The result of the Film-Workshop held during the 5th ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival. Three pairs of artists comprising Israeli filmmakers Emanuella Amichai, Avi Dabach and Joshua Simon and German poets Daniel Falb, Monika Rinck and Jan Wagner were working together to produce scripts and create poetry films in six days.
The poet here, Jan Wagner, is also a “translator of poetry from the English (including Charles Simic, James Tate, Simon Armitage, Jo Shapcott, Louis MacNeice, Kevin Young),” according to this online CV.