February 15, 2017
We like to highlight films that include or feature poetry — a meeting of two powerful creative forces. Taste of Cinema offers “10 Movies About Poetry That Are Worth Your Time,” which includes some films we’ve previously mentioned and some we haven’t. Have a look.
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September 19, 2016
Since we’re fans of poetry and film, we like to keep track of the places they intersect, especially when there’s a Cascadia link. Here’s one: Poetry Shorts.
Poetry Shorts is a project of The Northwest Renaissance: Poets, Performers & Publishers. It was created in 2015 by actor and poet Emilie Rommel Shimkus and is supported by The Tacoma Arts Commission and 4Culture.
The inaugural Poetry Shorts film is Tell Your Children, a series of four short films based on poems. It is currently in post-production and will premiere on Monday, October 24, 2016, at 7:00pm at The Grand Cinema in Tacoma.
Visit the Poetry Shorts website for more information.
August 15, 2016
Here’s another title for your watch-for-the-film file: The Bell Jar. Actor Kirsten Dunst will direct Dakota Fanning in the production, scheduled to begin in early 2017. This will be Dunst’s debut as a director, but The Bell Jar, written by Sylvia Plath under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas, has been seen on screen before: in 1979, starring Marilyn Hassett and Julie Harris, and in the 2003 biographical drama, “Sylvia,” starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Daniel Craig, Jared Harris, and Michael Gambon.
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May 17, 2016
Poet Frances McCue was one of the founders of Hugo House and is currently making a documentary film about the history of 1634 11th Avenue, including the building’s previous, um, life as a funeral parlor and its forthcoming demolition to make way for a mixed-use apartment building. The film, Where the House Was, is built around a long poem.
On Thursday, May 19, 2016, at 7:30pm, McCue will give the first public reading of selections from the poem — one of the final events at the current Hugo House location. She will be joined by Rebecca Brown, a Lambda-award-winning author who served as Hugo House’s inaugural writer-in-residence, and Lori Goldston, a self-described “classically trained and rigorously de-trained” cellist who is perhaps best known around Seattle for her work on Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged set. The “opening act” will be a reading by Cali Kopczick and Jack Chelgren.
April 16, 2016
April 22, 2016, marks the 46th anniversary of Earth Day. In honor of that occasion and in celebration of National Poetry Month, the hour-long video “W.S. Merwin: To Plant a Tree” will air on PBS stations nationwide over the next two weeks.
W.S. Merwin moved to an old pineapple plantation on Maui, Hawaii, in 1976. Since that time, while continuing his prodigious output of writing, serving twice as U.S. poet laureate (1999-2000, 2010-2011) and winning prizes and awards too numerous to mention, he has worked steadily to restore and regenerate the rainforest that once occupied the 19-acre site on the island’s north shore.
Read more about the film and see a nationwide broadcast schedule at The Merwin Conservancy, or check your local PBS station’s schedule for details. (In Washington, KSPS/Spokane will air the program on Sunday, April 17, at 4:00pm and KCTS 9 will broadcast it on Saturday, April 30, at 8:00pm and again at 3:00am on Sunday, May 1.)
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photo: Cicala Filmworks
July 31, 2015
If you are interested in Shakespeare, or sonnets, or New York City, The Sonnet Project has it all. The idea, originally slated for completion on Shakespeare’s 450th birthday (April 23rd 2014), is “to film all of Shakespeare’s sonnets, each performed by a different actor in a carefully chosen New York City location.”
When that deadline turned out to be unmanageable, the New York Shakespeare Exchange forged ahead anyway. Today there is a Sonnet Project website (with daily sonnet postings), Facebook page, Twitter feed and a Sonnet Project app. The films are posted on the website and on YouTube.
If you’re interested in recitation, this is a great place to hear Shakespeare.
July 6, 2015
Fresh from the Edinburgh Film Festival and now on the festival circuit, Black Mountain Poets will eventually make its way to a screen, large or small, near you. Romance and comedy play alongside poetry as two sisters on the lam disguise themselves in plain sight as performers at a weekend retreat of the “Poets’ Poetry Society.”
Hard to know if the acting and humor will be an honor or an insult to poetry, but read a review of Black Mountain Poets in Variety, put it on your list and decide for yourself.