Nic Sebastian isn’t content to manage The Poetry Storehouse and record audio tracks for many other people’s video projects; she continues to make poetry videos herself with a surer and surer hand. This video, one of her most recent, is among her best so far, I think. The text is one of six poems by Cynthia Atkins that appeared at the Storehouse earlier this month. The soundtrack, which strikes me as a particularly good match for the words and footage, comes from freesound.org user Peridactyloptrix.
A wide-ranging and fascinating interview with Nic Sebastian has just been posted at Creative Thresholds. About videopoetry Sebastian says, for example:
[T]he poem on the page is THE character in the page production. In a video production, the page poem remains a central character, but is not THE character in the same way. The page poem threads the poet’s story into the video, but other important elements join to play different roles in telling the story the film-maker found in the poem. Which, in the best video productions, is a related but different story, one that moves the original narrative forward in ways the poet may or may not have envisaged. The best video productions, in my view, are not merely a reflection of the original poem, not merely an attempt to recast/reproduce the poet’s narrative in visual form – they add something to the original narrative, they move it forward.
Do read the rest.
Moving Poems will be on holiday all next week. See you in August.
Two different video remixes of footage from the Prelinger Archives using a text by Janeen Rastall sourced from The Poetry Storehouse. While neither is a perfect video (both end too soon and too abruptly for my taste, for example), I think each is interesting, and together they show how approaches can diverge even when using largely the same material and techniques. Both are black and white with a 4:3 aspect ratio, last for 51 or 52 seconds with a cut every 6-10 seconds, and intersperse moments of allusiveness or departure from the text with moments of more literal illustration. But while Othniel Smith seized upon the goddess imagery in the title and first line, Marie Craven took the bursting seeds of the second line as her point of departure. They also differ in their soundtracks, Smith opting to use the poet’s own reading without accompaniment and Craven mixing Nic Sebastian’s reading with music by SK123.
Nic Sebastian’s latest video remix incorporating a text from the Poetry Storehouse uses a soundtrack by Elan Hickler. The poet, Jen Karetnick, blogs at A Body at Rest. See her full collection of poems at the Storehouse for a bio.
A brief Eric Burke poem at the Poetry Storehouse made into a film by Jutta Pryor with music by Masonik. The poem originally appeared in A cappella Zoo before its second life in the Poetry Storehouse, and frequent Storehouse contributor Othniel Smith has also envideoed it.
This film by Jutta Pryor is especially interesting for what it does with the soundtrack, a psychedelic interweaving of the reading by Nic Sebastian and a track called “The Ritual and the Delusion Part 1,” by the musicians’ collective Masonik. The poem, by Chicago-based poet Jenene Ravesloot and first published in CC&D Magazine, is from the Poetry Storehouse, where Sebastian herself has also posted her own, quite different video for the same text.
Spanish filmmaker Eduardo Yagüe has made two different films, one for the English-language original and one for the Spanish version of this poem, including an additional actor in the latter film. The poem and reading by Nic Sebastian are from the Poetry Storehouse, and Luis Yagüe supplied the Spanish translation. The author, L.L. Barkat, is among other things Managing Editor at Tweetspeak Poetry, which features poetry videos on a regular basis.
As long as The Poetry Storehouse stock keeps growing with more and interesting poems and writers, I’ll keep coming back.
For this work I picked out a poem by Helen Vitoria. I worked with Helen before a few years back and I love her choice of words. Pure and rich.
Those who have been watching my last series of videos know that I’m a fan of the ‘home movies’ that are collected
at IICADOM. It’s such a rich and beautiful collection. To be able to take a peek in all those lives… Create your own stories… I truly enjoy that.
For this poem I wanted footage from a wedding.
Young people in love on the beginning of their journey.
A lot of wedding footage on IICADOM, but this stood out (for me) Beautiful B/W, brutal cuts. Faces full of joy and hope.
I thought these images would make a great pairing with Helen’s poem.