Poet: Robert Peake

Snowblindness by Robert Peake

Poet: | Nationality: , | Filmmaker: ,

A new filmpoem by poet Robert Peake with musician/composer Valerie Kampmeier. Peake blogged the text and a brief process note. To me, this is one of Peake and Kampmeier’s most satisfying videos to date, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that film and text took shape at the same time:

I found a film of reindeer in the archive.org 35mm Stock Footage collection and, after watching it several times, I began to develop a narrative about a man lost in the Arctic Circle. The poem came from there, followed by the video and effects editing and finally the music and sound effects.

Ursula by Robert Peake

Poet: | Nationality: , | Filmmaker: ,

A new videopoem by Robert Peake and Valerie Kampmeier. Peake blogged the text of the poem and some process notes. The poem was prompted by an old postcard, he writes, and

Valerie and I found some old excess footage, now in the public domain, from a Los Angeles film studio in the 1950s, and we put this together with road, wind, and bear noises as accompaniment.

Learning the Letters by Robert Peake

Poet: | Nationality: , | Filmmaker: ,

“A film-poem by Valerie Kampmeier and Robert Peake, incorporating footage of children in Britton, South Dakota filmed by Ivan Bessie in 1939.” For the text, see Peake’s blog.

Twenty Second Filmpoem: 20 poets, 20 seconds each

Alastair Cook‘s 22nd filmpoem is both playful and profound, a lovely demonstration of the magic that can happen when poets write ekphrastically in response to film clips.

Twenty Second Filmpoem (the 22nd Filmpoem) is twenty 20 second Filmpoems; it was conceived when I was asked to do a pecha-kucha.org night. An interesting concept, you present 20 slides for 20 seconds; I thought I’d do something a little different, actually create some work for the event. I commissioned 20 writers, all listed below, to write flash fiction against some 1960s found footage I’d edited. It’s ambitious and inevitably some bits work much better than others, but for me it is imperative to push this a little, to leave my comfort zone. And invariable, all the writing is superb, and for that I am thankful.

I also took the opportunity of using Vladimir Kryutchev’s binaural field recordings, for which I thank him. His amazing binaural map of Sergiyev Posad in Russia is here: oontz.ru/en

See the rest of the description on Vimeo to read all 20 short poems. The poets are: Andrew McCallum Crawford, Mary McDonough Clark, Al Innes, Guinevere Glasfurd-Brown, Elspeth Murray, Janette Ayachi, Jane McCance, Donna Campbell, Ewan Morrison, Angela Readman, Gérard Rudolf, Zoe Venditozzi, Jo Bell, Sally Evans, Pippa Little, Tony Williams, Robert Peake, Stevie Ronnie, Sheree Mack and Emily Dodd. Dodd blogged about her part in the production. A couple of excerpts:

I received a link with a password for my film, it was number twenty (password twenty). The film was 1960s found footage and it was beautiful. Alastair had edited it to tell a 1 minute story.

I watched a woman in a white dress on her wedding day. She kept looking at the Best Man. I wrote my initial thoughts down and came back to watch it again, two days later.

My brief was to respond with a piece of flash fiction that could be read aloud within 10 seconds. Alastair wanted it to be short, two or three lines maximum, he said just a haiku in length.

[…]

When I was first commissioned I’d thought along the same lines as the bride… is this really me?

  • What if I watch the film and have no emotional response?
  • What if I can’t do flash fiction?
  • What if my piece ruins the whole presentation?

And all of this ran through my head while waiting for a response from Alastair.

Thankfully, I had this reply within a couple of minutes:
No it’s bloody perfect x Baci x

Jonah by Robert Peake

Poet: | Nationality: , | Filmmaker:

Alastair Cook‘s 20th filmpoem uses a text and reading by Robert Peake. The film is due to premiere at the Felix Poetry Festival in Antwerp on June 15.

The poem’s back-story is fascinating. Let me quote from the first couple of paragraphs from Alastair’s description on Vimeo:

[P]rior to London, Robert lived in a small town full of artists in the foothills of the Santa Barbara mountains called Ojai (a Chumash Indian name meaning either “moon” or “nest”). He lived next to the directors of the local theatre company on one side, and a metal sculptor called Mark Benkert and his wife Marcia on the other. One morning just before dawn, a 400-pound black bear wandered through the theatre directors’ yard and out onto Robert’s street. He then climbed into a tree and became stuck.

Robert takes up the story: “he drew us all out, awed us with his presence, and brought us together as neighbours. Sadly, because it was also the first day of bear hunting season, he was shot out of the tree that night and killed by the wildlife “authorities.” Benkert swung into action, welding and cutting all night to produce a half-ton metal outline of a bear in rusted iron sheeting. Early the next morning, a capable rock climber, he hauled himself and the statue up the tree and placed it there–his bulletproof metal bear defying all. As far as I know, it is still in the tree. Mark and I became closer, and finally discovered that we held in common losing a son: my James in infancy, his Jonah gone at thirty-two from drugs and mental illness leading to suicide. The town commissioned Mark to create a bigger second statue to be displayed prominently.”

A Game of Sevens by Robert Peake

Poet: | Nationality: , | Filmmaker: ,

A film-poem by Robert Peake and Valerie Kampmeier — their fourth. For the text, see Robert’s blog.

Same-Day Return by Robert Peake

Poet: | Nationality: , | Filmmaker: ,

A new film-poem by Robert Peake and Valerie Kampmeier. “We live near the end of the Northern Line, and our evenings are pleasantly haunted by the sound of the train,” Robert notes in a blog post (which also includes the text).