Argentinian-born artist and composer Mario Verandi directed and wrote the music for this “audiovisual composition,” as he calls it, which appears to have benefitted from a very active collaboration with the poet: that’s Monika Rinck’s face in the film and her voice reciting the German text. I was also interested by the fully bilingual nature of the compostion, the German in the soundtrack alternating with English in a different voice (that of Douglas Hendenson). The film premiered at the 2008 ZEBRA International Poetry Film Festival in Berlin.
For more on poet, essayist and actress Monika Rinck, including English translations of some of her poems, see her page at Poetry International Web.
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.
Another of the three collaborations between German poets and Israeli filmmakers sponsored by the 5th ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival. The text seems like an especially good one for a poetry film, since it imagines multiple interpretations or applications for a central image, accentuating the synergy of the text-film combination.