Last year, Fucking Him won Best Experimental Film at the Manhattan Independent Film Festival and Curator’s Choice for Best Sound/Music at Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival, was the Grand Prix Winner for Found Footage at the 2015 Interference Festival in Gdansk, and has been screened in a number of other festivals as well.
This author-made filmpoem by British filmmaker Jon Constantinou, co-directed by Jake Balfour-Lynn with actor Rick Stupple, was my favorite finalist from this year’s Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival, where it won Best Sound/Music. Michele Caruso was the sound designer. As Rabbit Heart organizer Sou MacMillan noted at Moving Poems Magazine, “You could hear every crackle of the fire, the scrape of the blade against whetstone, and grind of pencils being sharpened, all under a gentle and moving score.” For my part, I thought it was a great example of a film-poetic whole that’s much more than the sum of its parts.
Another author-made videopoem recently published by Voluble, this time from the enormously talented poet and photographer Rachel Eliza Griffiths. Click through to listen to her artist’s statement, where she explains that “‘S’ is the first piece in a trilogy of videos that engage Audre Lorde’s poem The Black Unicorn.” Her discussion of the relationship between audio and video, hearing and seeing in her creation of the video is absolutely fascinating.
This concludes this week’s focus on videopoems or poetry films made solely by the poet her- or himself. Over the years I’ve shared many such videos, and Matt Mullins put together an annotated gallery of Ten Notable Single-Author Videopoems to showcase some of the best. There are many more examples of films that emerge from active collaborations between the poet and the filmmaker. I hadn’t planned this as a promotion for the Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival, which alone among poetry film and videopoetry festivals requires the poet to have been directly involved in making the video, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that their deadline for submissions is coming up on July 1. (Which happens also to to be the deadline for the 2016 ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival.)
This delightful videopoem by Gary Hoare and Joe Cronin was the winner in the Best Smartphone Production category at the 2015 Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival. (Watch all six finalists on YouTube.) The internet may already be cracking under the cumulative weight of tens of thousands of cat videos, but I think there’s always room for one that pushes beyond the mere cute factor to ask larger questions about cats, people, and (in this case) worship.
One of the unique features of Rabbit Heart is that they require all films/videos to be made by the author, either alone or in close collaboration with the filmmaker. In this case, I’m not entirely sure which of the named authors did which, but that’s O.K. I guess.
A poem about love, in the form of a list.
Dedicated to (about) the poet Johnny Giles.
The film has just taken top honors at the 2015 Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival, winning for Best Animation, Best Valentine, and Best Overall Production. It was also shortlisted in the Southbank Centre’s Shot Through The Heart poetry film competition in 2014.