A fine, narrative-style poetry film by Ben Mottershead. The text is by Lancashire poet Chris Woods, who’s been unusually fortunate in having terrific films made from his poetry. Here’s the description from Vimeo:
‘Black Hole’ tells of Jack; an alcoholic determined on self destruction in the wake of his wife’s death.
Made for the Bokeh Yeah Poetry Challenge and adapted from Chris Woods’ poem, courtesy of Comma Press.
Filmed with the 5d Miii using the Magic Lantern Raw Hack.
Directed, Shot and Cut by Ben Mottershead
Jack – Kevin Harper
Kate – Serena Ryan
Jack’s Wife – Maya Ozolina
Sound Recording – Kenneth James
Assistant Director – Marta Nie
Make Up Artist – Faye Aydin Le Jeune
Production Stills and Production Assistant – Darren Mcginn
Behind the Scenes and Production Assistant – Tristan Mayer
Runner – Keeley Knight
Voiceover Recording – Chris Taylor
Music, Sound Design and Sound Mix by Tim Gray
Colourist – Paul Willis
The Castle Hotel
Concept, camera, direction and editing are all credited to Christopher Hughes (Shining Tor Productions), though I can’t help thinking the content of the film might have been influenced by the title of the book in which the poem originally appeared: Dangerous Driving by Chris Woods (Comma Press, 2007). Regardless, it’s a good example of how a narrative approach to filmmaking can work with a lyric poem.
Not Talking was “Made in partnership with Bokeh Yeah and Comma Press”; Bokeh Yeah is kind of the successor to the earlier Comma Film project, as I understand it. One way or another, at least four films have now been made based on poems from Dangerous Driving, each by a different director. Manchester would seem to have a very active poetry-film community indeed.
Christopher Hughes blogged a bit about how he came to make this film:
It seems like an age since Adele Myers approached me to come along to her group, Bokeh Yeah, and join in their poetry film challenge. Even though I agreed, I was initially quite dismissive of poetry films as they didn’t appear to worry about the things I worried about with narrative short films. Things like continuity, dialogue, plot, character, etc. They could shoot any abstract images they wanted and juxtapose them in any way that took their fancy under the general heading of ‘artistic interpretation’. It all seemed a bit too easy to me – or at least, that’s what I thought.
Anyway, I’d said I’d do it so I chose a poem that I liked and came up with a concept that gave me a chance to reference my beloved spaghetti westerns and away we went. I won’t go into more detail about the film, just watch it for yourselves, except to say, that I’m quite happy with it.
Jessica Symons writes:
This a film of a poem, Occasional China first published in ‘Lifting the piano with one hand’ by Gaia Holmes (Comma Press, 2013)
I am a member of Bokeh Yeah, a filmmakers club in Manchester. We got together with Comma Press, publishers of poetry, and chose Gaia’s poem about a recent bereavement.
One autumn day we gathered in a local cemetery to film Pete Ramsay walking among the graves trying to come to terms with the death of his mother. It is a poignant poem which reminds us of the fragility of life, as well as the fear of the loss that death brings.