and another…

April 28, 2020

Here’s another film for your list: “Before Night Falls.” Based on the autobiography of Cuban poet/novelist/playwright Reinaldo Arenas and directed by Julian Schnabel, the film stars Javier Bardem.

for your list

April 27, 2020

Since you may be streaming more films than usual, and since we like to keep tabs on poetry movies and somehow had not previously mentioned it, “Kill Your Darlings” is a 2013 film starring Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg and Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 77%.

The name of the film, by the way, is a phrase attributed to William Faulkner, though it’s credited to him primarily in collections of quotations. In On the Art of Writing (1916), Arthur Quiller-Couch said, “Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetuate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it — wholeheartedly — and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.”

watch and learn

April 19, 2020

In honor of Cowboy Poetry Week, April 19-25, 2020, we offer this link to “Cowboy Poets,” a 1988 film by Kim Shelton and Bill Jersey featuring cowboy poets Waddie Mitchell, Slim Kite, and Wally McRae. Enjoy, y’all.

for your watch list

March 30, 2020

If you missed this documentary by Paul Devlin when it came out in 1998, you may want to add it to your watch list. SlamNation follows New York City’s novice Nuyorican Poetry Slam team (Saul Williams, Beau Sia, muMs da Schemer, Jessica Care Moore, Marc Smith, Taylor Mali, and more) on its journey to join over 120 spoken word artists on 27 city teams at the 1996 National Poetry Slam in Portland, Oregon.

watch some poetry

February 26, 2020

Love The Waters” is a lyrical film celebrating the beauty and fragility of the world’s oceans. It is directed, produced and narrated by Claire Beynon with collaborative text by writers from around the globe. Along with this short film, there’s much to explore on Claire Beynon’s site, Waters I Have Known. Have a look.

Attention: video poets

January 10, 2020

If you work at the intersection of poetry and film, you may want to submit your work for Cadence: Video Poetry Festival. Northwest Film Forum is soliciting video poetry for inclusion in the festival, with selected submissions screening April 16-17, 2020 (mark your calendar!). The submission deadline is March 1, 2020.

as the fur flies

December 24, 2019

Perhaps you’ve heard: the movie version of “Cats” is here. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical opened on Broadway in 1982 and is still running, so what could go wrong?

Apparently, more than you’d expect. Rotten Tomatoes, which gives the film 17% on the Tomatometer (as of this writing), says, “Despite its fur-midable cast, this Cats adaptation is a clawful mistake that will leave most viewers begging to be put out of their mew-sery.” Me-ow!

Somewhat hastily released to make scheduled screenings, the film is being reissued with some quick fixes. Here’s Louis Bayard’s commentary in The New York Times.

As the fur flies, it bears repeating that the inspiration for all this drama is a book of rhyming poetry: Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot. If you don’t have a copy on your shelf and the library copy is checked out, you can read it online at Project Gutenberg.

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