This is — the credits tell us — a production of the San Diego State University School of Theatre, Televison, and Film. Alexander Ameen, Miles Feld and Kurt Conety jointly directed a disturbing and imaginative interpretation of Neruda’s “Clenched Soul” as translated by W.S. Merwin.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know how much I appreciate unlikely combinations of text and moving image. In this case, I think the filmmakers may have gone a bit too far. But the result is so entertaining, I had to share it anyway. This is the Samuel L. Jackson reading of Neruda’s poem from Il Postino. Alessio Cuomo and Sander de Nooij of ColdSun Productions, a Dutch production company specializing in documentaries, indicate on Vimeo that this was
a little video we made just to celebrate the end of summer.
We came across this footage while doing some hard disk cleaning.
For a more serious take on the poem, see Four Seasons Productions’ interpretation of “Walking Around”, which uses footage from classic silent horror films. Unfortunately, though, the reading there (by Robert Bly, I think) isn’t as good as Jackson’s here.
Moving Poems’ latest production takes advantage of a new free-audio site that other filmmakers might be interested in, too: pizzicati of hosanna: dead poets’ poems read by Nic S. in English & other languages. The footage is from Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia. I blogged all about it at Via Negativa.
Directed by Julian Harriman-Dickinson at HarrimanSteel. Unfortunately, it’s kind of low-resolution, but the soundtrack helps carry it.
Julianna Castigliego notes that this was an “Emerson College Film 1 final film project. 16mm. Shot on Bolex. Edited on Steenbeck.” This is the same poem, translated by Stephen Tapscott, that was featured in the motion picture Patch Adams.
This is poem XIV from Veinte Poemas de Amor y Una Canción Desesperada (1924), envideoed by Will Jardine.
The poem is not from Neruda’s Odas Elementales, but the later Plenos Poderos from 1962. Here’s the Spanish and here’s an English translation by Jodey Bateman. The film uses the translation by Alastair Reid, which carries a less literal title: “In Praise of Ironing.”
As with any popular poet, there are a ton of Neruda videos on YouTube, but most of them are, um, not so good. So it’s a real pleasure to see a professionally made film with a Neruda poem in the soundtrack.