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.

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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.

more poetry on film

November 23, 2016

DIE GETRÄUMTEN (The Dreamed Ones)

Here’s another film for your watch-for-it list: DIE GETRÄUMTEN (The Dreamed Ones) is a “docudrama” in which two actors in a recording studio read from the dramatic exchange of poems, letters, postcards, telegrams and drafts between poets Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan, who came to know each other in post-war Vienna. Through their reading, the actors’ own lives and stories become layered with those of the poets.

Referring to Bachmann and Celan as “the most important German poets of the second half of the 20th century,” director Ruth Beckermann calls theirs “a great modern love story.” Learn more on the film website or read a review in The Guardian.

poetry on film

October 20, 2016

Paterson

Soda Pictures (UK) is about to release a new film, Paterson, which follows the story of Paterson, a poet and bus driver in the city of Paterson, New Jersey. Directed by Jim Jarmusch and starring Adam Driver and Golshifteh Farahani, the film is due in theaters November 25, 2016. Watch for it.

more poetry on film

August 14, 2015

Emily Dickinson

As long as we’re on the subject of poetry on film, here’s more (times two). In 2015, Liverpool-based Hurricane Films began production on a feature film called A Quiet Passion, directed by Terence Davies. The film stars Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson (Jennifer Ehle and Keith Carradine are also in the cast) and it will be completed in 2016.

But, “While working on the set of A Quiet Passion and feeling inspired by Dickinson’s life and words, our entire team at Hurricane Films felt it was essential to dig even deeper into the life and times of one of the world’s greatest poets. We decided to make a documentary.”

A “companion piece” to A Quiet Passion, PHOSPHORESCENCE “will endeavor to reflect qualities inspired by its subject, Emily Dickinson — deft words, passionate beliefs, searing individuality and a great story well told. The film has the support of the Emily Dickinson Museum and will be completed in mid 2016.”

Hurricane Films has launched a Kickstarter to fund the documentary, with lots of great swag for backers. Check out Phosphorescence on Kickstarter.

poetry on film

August 13, 2015

Derek Walcott

Here’s a documentary film to put on your watch-for list: Poetry is an Island. Directed by Ida Does, the film is an intimate portrait of Nobel Prize-winning poet Derek Walcott. The filmmakers visit Walcott’s “art studio, his childhood home, and his current residence in St. Lucia. It also includes exclusive archive material from the Nobel Prize Festivities in 1992. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this film is about Walcott’s poetry.”

The film world-premiered at the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival in 2013 and continues to make the rounds of festivals worldwide. It will screen on September 18, 2015, at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts in Frederiksted, St. Croix. The film has won a number of awards, including Best Feature Documentary Feature at the Honolulu Film Awards.

More on the Poetry is an Island website and Facebook page. You can read a number of Walcott’s poems on the Academy of American Poets website and an interview with Derek Walcott by Edward Hirsch in the Paris Review.

poetry on film…

February 28, 2013

Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

The 13th Annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival, now under way, will close with the film Poetry of Resilience, in which international poets eloquently narrate their experiences of political violence.

More on the film festival here. More on Poetry of Resilience here.
. . . . .
Thanks to Sheila Sondik for the tip!

poetry film in the making

September 22, 2017

We’ve mentioned the poet Ella Higginson before, and we’ve certainly mentioned poetry on film on many occasions. Here’s a place where the twain shall meet: Just Like the Men.

Just Like the Men is a screenplay written by Ella Higginson in the era of silent film. In essence, it is a romantic comedy depicting the first woman (Frances C. Axtell) elected into legislative office in Washington State, in 1913, and her clever campaign manager.

The community-focused team of filmmakers and multimedia artists known as Talking to Crows has now picked up where Ella left off and is adapting Just Like the Men in the spirit in which it was written.

Read more about the “Ella” project on Talking to Crows, like Just Like the Men on Facebook, and, most important, pitch in a couple bucks to help this piece of Washington literary and political history make its way to the big screen by supporting Just Like the Men on Seed & Spark.

film poetry

September 4, 2017

In our ongoing effort to highlight the intersection of poetry and film, we note that Terrain.org is featuring three short films that blend poetry by Abeer Hoque, video by Josh Steinbauer, and music by Tom Asselin. The films accompany the release of Hoque’s new book, Olive Witch, a memoir about growing up across cultures in Nigeria, the States, and Bangladesh.

Please also note that the submission deadline for Terrain’s 8th Annual Contest in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry has been extended. TODAY, Monday, September 4, 2017, is the new deadline for contest entries. General, non-contest, submissions reopen tomorrow and continue through May 30, 2018.

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