Posts Tagged: ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival

Gloed / Glow by Bart Moeyaert

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A text by the Flemish poet Bart Moeyaert in a filmpoem by Dutch photographer and filmmaker Judith Dekker. Commissioned by the library of Genk, Belgium, it was screened at this year’s ZEBRA festival as part of their focus on Dutch and Flemish poetry films. Moeyart supplies the reading used in the soundtrack, and the English translation in titling (also included in the description at Vimeo) is by Astrid Alben.

Chamada Geral / Calling All by Mário-Henrique Leiria

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“Calling all! A man walks free,” reads the description at ZEBRA, where this film by Manuel Vilarinho of a poem by Mário-Henrique Leiria was awarded Special Mention in the Prize for the Best Film for Tolerance. The ZEBRA website also has a short bio for Manuel Vilarinho:

Born in Portugal, 1974. Graduated in Tecnologia da Comunicação Audiovisual by IPP, Instituto Politécnico do Porto in 2004. He won several awards at video film festivals and currently works on TVI, Independent Television in Portugal.

The English Wikipedia entry for the poet is similarly brief:

Mário-Henrique Leiria (1923–1980) was a Portuguese surrealist poet. Born in Lisbon, he studied at the Escola de Belas Artes. He and his fellow surrealists were involved in an absurdist plot to overthrow the dictatorship of Antonio Salazar. He is best known for his books Contos do Gin-Tonic (Gin and Tonic Tales, 1973) and Novos Contos do Gin (More Gin Tales, 1974). He died in 1980.

Music is Made Out of Smoke by Tanya Shirley

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Iranian-British filmmaker Roxana Vilk with a poem by Jamaican poet Tanya Shirley. It’s described on the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival website as a “tribute to Jamaican reggae artist Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and an elegy to the sultry fields of the American South.” The Vimeo description notes that it was “Commissioned for Commonwealth Games 2014 by Scottish Poetry Library, British Council and Creative Scotland and executive produced by Scottish Poetry Library & United Creations Collective.” According to Vilk’s website, it was one of eight short films she directed and produced for her Composing the Commonwealth series in 2014 featuring four different poets, the camera work of Ian Dodds, sound and music by Peter Vilk, and editing by Ling Lee and Maryam Ghorbankarimi. Go watch.

Vögel auf Stromleitungen / Birds on Wires by Dean Ruddock

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A nearly perfect author-made filmpoem by Dean Ruddock. (After hitting Play, be sure to click the CC icon for English subtitles.) Vögel auf Stromleitungen took the audience prize in the NRW (Nordrhein-Westphalia) competition at ZEBRA. The description on its page at the ZEBRA website reads:

Our understanding of the world seem to disintegrate, making us lose our minds. Is this sudden incomprehension normal, or have our senses decided to dismiss an alien entity, which has just landed on earth, as a trick of the eye?

Послушайте / Please listen! by Vladimir Mayakovsky

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This wonderfully disturbing film by Natalia Alfutova was recognized by the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival 2016 jury as a Special Mention for the Goethe Film Prize. Be sure to click the closed captioning (CC) icon for the English translation. Here’s the description from the ZEBRA website:

The Dummy and its mirror-reflection are in the waiting room of God. They mimic the Human-talk and the God dancing.

Natalia Alfutova
was born in Moscow and studied Mathematics at the Moscow State University, movie directing at ‘Higher Director’s Courses’ Moscow,, and multimedia art at The Rodchenko Art School (Moscow). In 2014 she founded “Mediamead” art studio. Artworks of this studio are based on the mix of math, cinema and multimedia art. In last two years Natalia made a number of installations, which were shown in different Moscow Museums and art places.

Much to my own surprise, this is the first Mayakovsky poem I’ve ever shared a video for. I was sure I must’ve found others over the years, but apparently not.

Those Drawn Alive by Jukka-Pekka Jalovaara

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An author-made filmpoem by Jukka-Pekka Jalovaara, inspired by the archetypal Spaghetti Western villain Lee Van Clef. The description on its ZEBRA website page reads:

Every autumn I get heavily moody. This is caused by the loss of the light. Last summer I heard from the radio a tune called “The House of the Rising Sun”. At once I was on a wintery road, with a very low light – and having an impossible opponent against me – Lee Van Cleef.

Jukka-Pekka Jalovaara
born 1965 in Kuopio, Finland, attended the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and studied scenography and architecture. His work focuses mainly on drawing, photography and experimental motion pictures and has been shown in Finland and abroad.

The evocative soundtrack is by Samuli Kristian Saastamoinen.

You Are 6 Years Old and She is Teaching You How to Ride a Bicycle by Stephanie Dogfoot

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Stephanie Dogfoot is a performance poet with numerous slam championships in Singapore and the UK under her belt, but here filmmaker Sarah Howell of the Dream Bravely production company has made the unusual (for performance poetry) decision to focus not on the poet but on the poem, with salutary results. This is also a great example of how to use video to drive home the political message of a poem. It was made in collaboration with the Haque Centre of Acting & Creativity for “the August [2015] installment of their storytelling night Metaphors Be With You: Childhood Stories,” according to a blog post by Dogfoot. Michael Lim was the cinematographer, with music by Celer and Konrad Feucht.

This is one of the films in the Zebrino Competition at the upcoming ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival next week, and I need to give a tip of the hat to the ZEBRA Poetry Film Club channel on Vimeo, which has been adding films at a great rate in the build-up to the festival. I’ll be sourcing films from that channel for weeks to come, but if you can’t wait, go there now and gorge.

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