Posts Tagged: Jan Eerala

Metamorphosis by Sophie Reyer

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A videopoem by Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon with poem, voiceover and sounds contributed by Sophie Reyer, piano music by Liu Winter and footage by Jan Eerala. The overall soundtrack composition is Marc’s, along with “mastering, add. camera, editing, grading & concept,” according to the Vimeo description.

This was not Swoon’s first collaboration with Sophie Reyer; he also worked with the Austrian writer and composer two years ago to make Abschied. Metamorphosis was among the 16 films selected for the 2nd Weimar Poetry Film Award.

Gecompliceerde Schaduwen / Complicated Shadows by Swoon (Marc Neys)

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With 238 videos, most of them poetry films, up on Vimeo, the prolific Belgian artist Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon is taking a well-deserved break from videopoetry this year to focus on one of his other passions: composing electronic music. This is one of the last videos he uploaded before his sabbatical, and unusually for him, it uses a text of his own composition, with English subtitles translated by Annmarie Sauer. He’s recycled some footage from Jan Eerala, but everything else—”Words, voice, concept, camera, editing & music”—is his own.

This is something that I think every serious poetry filmmaker should attempt at least once. You don’t have to be an expert poet to make a powerful and effective videopoem; you simply have to have a well-tuned artist’s eye and musician’s ear for what kinds of sequences and juxtapositions work, so that the whole might become greater than the sum of its parts. Marc makes it look easy, but of course it isn’t. Of all the poetry filmmakers I know, he may be the closest to logging those 10,000 hours of practice supposedly required to turn one into a master.

Contusion by Sylvia Plath

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Sylvia Plath would’ve been 83 yesterday, and to mark the occasion, Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon released this film, Don’t look at me (Contusion).

It’s not the first time I create a work using her poems. But I consider this my best effort to capture something of her spirit.

Contusion was one of the first poems I wanted to make a video for (5-6 years ago) but I never got a satisfying result out of the process. This time tried a film composition with text on screen and I had a clear idea what kind of images to use. […]

I composed a track especially for this project. Called it ‘Don’t look at me’ (and kept the appropriate title for the film composition) [Bandcamp link].

I had to re-edit the length of the composition to the footage I had gathered. Contusion is a rather short poem (compared to some of her other works).

A lot of night and dusk. Dim images. I especially wanted the footage of a swimming lake (deserted and empty) by Bart van der Gaag. Also some snow and winter footage by Jan Eerala, stuff filmed by me and a few pieces of Videoblocks. I composed all the footage to the lines of the poem (using a small and almost unreadable font and placement of the text by times) and the pace and feel of the soundtrack. I also graded some of the footage for an even darker feel.

As I said before; I’m happy with this one.

Play full screen (and preferably with headphones!)

Inimi / The Room by Jessie Kleemann

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Swoon (Marc Neys) has been taking a “‘videopoem journey’ along the Northern countries” this year, with films based on poems from Finland, Iceland, Sweden, and Norway. This one took him to Greenland, as he describes in a recent blog post.

With Inimi (The Room) from Jessie Kleemann I found the perfect (spooky) poem to play around with. Her reading on Lyrikline in Greenlandic was an extra bonus for me. […]

I started with creating a soundscape around her reading; [SoundCloud link]

After that I was driven by the overall atmosphere of the language and the pace of her reading to look for footage by Jan Eerala again.
His images of an abandoned shed, a pink plastic bag in the wind and some shadowy puddles worked well in contrast (split screen) with the blue spooky footage I created earlier this year (playing around with software and public domain material)

This marriage of Greenland, Finland and Belgium works rather well, I think.

Halloween by Hugo Claus

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UPDATE (3 Oct. 2015): Swoon has re-edited the English version, replacing the Jovan Todorovic film clip with footage by Jan Eerala.

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Belgian artist Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon recently released two entirely different films for a poem by his great countryman Hugo Claus: “a ‘European Dance-version’ (using Hugo’s reading from Lyrikline) and an ‘American Road movie version’ using a fantastic reading Michael Dickes made from the English translation by John Irons,” as he put it in a blog post.

The visual idea for the Dutch version came to me watching a great series of short videos by dancer/artist Nadia Vadori-Gauthier: One Minute of Dance a Day:

‘since January 14, 2015, I’ve been posting one minute of dance to this blog every day, simply, without editing or effects, in the place and state of mind I find myself that day, with no special technique, staging, clothing, or makeup, nothing but what is there.’

I asked if I could use one of her ‘minutes’ (2 février 2015 – 20e danse) for this videopoem. I could.
I simply adore this combination of Hugo’s poem, his voice and her dancing in the snow.
Enjoy! (There’s also a version with French subtitles: https://vimeo.com/118980966)

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The source of the ‘road movie’ version is a music video by the collective ESNAF
Their video for ‘The Long Haul’ by NO (cinematography by Jovan Todorović) had all the ingredients I needed for the English version of the poem. I believe the little storyline is the perfect match for the poem and Michael Dickes’ reading.