more poetry on film

March 7, 2019

Here’s another entry in the poetry-on-film file: “Secrets,” currently in production, is a short film by Kathryn Roszak based on the poetry of Tomas Tranströmer. The film layers Tranströmer’s words with dance performed by members of Danse Lumière, and a trailer can be viewed here.

On a related note, “Österjöar” is a film by Eva Jonasson Wine and James Michael Wine that also features poetry by Tomas Tranströmer, read in Swedish, and filmed on location in the Stockholm archipelago. A trailer is here and a discussion of the film appears on Moving Poems Magazine.

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and more poetry on film

February 5, 2019

Known as “The People’s Poet,” Milton Acorn was born and died on Prince Edward Island. But in the years between, he meandered across Canada, earned the Governor General’s Literary Award, and published at least 13 books (five more collections were published posthumously).

In The Northern Red Oak, poems for and about Acorn, published a year after his death, poet Gwendolyn MacEwen wrote, “You could go for years without seeing him, and yet he’ll always be there somehow, a great craggy presence at the back of your mind, a gnarled tree in silhouette on the horizon.”

In Love and Anger,” an hour-long documentary directed and produced by Kent Martin, meanders along with Acorn as he tells his story and recites his poems.

poetry on film

February 4, 2019

Though the short film “Bat Eyes” was made in 2012, it’s only come to our attention now. Made in Australia and directed by Damien Power with screenwriter Jessica Bellamy, the film uses the text of the poem “When You Are Old” by William Butler Yeats to tell a spare and poignant story. It’s worth 11 minutes of your time. Watch it here.

More poetry on film here.

poetry on film

September 17, 2018

In our continuing interest in the meeting of poetry and film, we note that two poems by Natalie Diaz have been (or are being) committed to film: “Cranes, Mafiosos and a Polaroid Camera” and “American Arithmetic.”

The former, a film by Tash Tung, was commissioned by Motionpoems, with additional funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visuals Arts and donations on Seed & Spark. You can watch the film trailer on Vimeo, find more information on the Seed & Spark page, and see Natalie Diaz reading the poem at Beyond Baroque (at about 4 min.). The film is on the festival circuit and is an official selection for the Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2018.

The latter, also a Motionpoems film, is directed by Mohammed Hammad. There is little information available online, so watch for the film and meanwhile, read “American Arithmetic” on Verse Daily.

poetry on film

May 24, 2018

Congratulations to Spokane filmmaker Kendra Ann Sherrill, whose short film, The Pink Tablet, will screen at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) on Monday, May 28, 2018, at 3:30pm at the SIFF Cinema Uptown and again on June 6. One of six Washington filmmakers participating in the Fly Filmmaking Challenge, Sherrill was tasked with making a 5-7 minute documentary on a budget of $500 in 10 weeks.

Sherrill selected Spokane poet Ellen Welcker as her subject and The Pink Tablet is a 7-minute film based on Welcker’s poem of the same name.

For a suggestion of the film’s material, you can watch Welcker’s “feral opera,” also called The Pink Tablet — part play, part dance, and five original choral compositions — on YouTube.

poetry on film

February 25, 2018

In our ongoing pursuit of poetry on film, we should mention the new independent film, The Kindergarten Teacher. Directed by Sara Colangelo, the film stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and includes the work of a number of poets, including Ocean Vuong and Kaveh Akbar. To learn more about how the poetry found its way into the film, view the Sundance Film Festival video on the Los Angeles Times website.

(According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film rights have just been acquired by Netflix, which will release the movie later this year.)

more poetry on film

December 8, 2017

Here’s another one for the poetry on film file. The film Maya Dardel “depicts the final weeks leading to the ambiguous disappearance of Maya Dardel, an internationally respected poet and novelist, who lived until 2016 in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Dardel announces on National Public Radio that she intends to end her life and that young male writers may compete to become the executor of her estate. They are challenged intellectually, emotionally, and erotically, until one of them begins to fathom Maya’s end game.”

Read the reviews: The New York Times, IndieWire, and Salon.

poetry on film

October 11, 2017

In our ongoing pursuit of all things poetry-on-film, we somehow overlooked Bright Star, a 2009 film by Jane Campion. The story of John Keats and Fanny Brawne, the film was described as “beautiful, wistful” by Roger Ebert (thumbs up) and given 83% on the Tomatometer. Here’s the official trailer and here’s a review from the Academy of American Poets.

Thanks to Joanna Thomas for the tip.

poetry on film

October 3, 2017

One of The Poetry Department’s continuing interests is poetry on film and this looks like a gorgeous addition to the collection: Window Horses. An animated feature filled with poetry and stories, Window Horses is about Rosie Ming, a young Canadian poet who is invited to perform at a poetry festival in Shiraz, Iran. The film is now screening at art houses and festivals worldwide. Visit the Window Horses website to watch the trailer and learn about the story, the characters, and the filmmakers. Like Window Horses on Facebook and watch for Window Horses coming to a theater near you.

Late-breaking note: Window Horses is one of 26 animated films nominated for an Academy Award. Read more. The awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, March 4, 2018.

poetry on film

May 18, 2017

In our ongoing effort to keep you informed of the intersection between poetry and film, here’s another entry: “Endless Poetry” (“Poesía Sin Fin“).

“Surreal and breathlessly inventive,” this new film by Alejandro Jodorowsky is making its way through the festival and art-film circuit. You can see it free on Saturday, June 3, 2017, 9:00pm, at the Feast Arts Center outdoor movies in Tacoma.

You can also watch a trailer on YouTube, check out the film’s (closed) IndieGoGo campaign, see the 95% rating in Rotten Tomatoes and read Peter Bradshaw’s film of the week review in The Guardian.

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