film in 48 hours

March 20, 2019

We’ve mentioned Motionpoems here a number of times. “Motionpoems explores the space between poets and other artists to create hybrid artworks that connect with contemporary audiences in new ways.”

In keeping with that mission, Motionpoems is currently running a (very modest) Kickstarter campaign for Hothouse. The project matches four award-winning poets with four cutting-edge filmmakers and gives them 48 hours to produce a film.

The all-or-nothing campaign ends Wednesday, April 10, and the Hothouse films will be screened at the Loft Literary Center’s Wordplay Festival in Minneapolis on Sunday, May 12, 2019. Read all about it on Kickstarter.

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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.

poetry, film, and hockey

February 11, 2019

Because we are interested in the places where poetry and film intersect, here’s an addition to your watch-for list. “Goalie” is an independent film about hockey legend Terry Sawchuk, scheduled for release on March 1, 2019, in Vancouver and Toronto. Co-written by sisters Adriana Maggs and Jane Maggs and directed by Adriana Maggs, the film was inspired in large part by a book of poetry written by their father, Randall Maggs.

Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems (Brick Books, 2008; 10th Anniversary edition 2018) “follows the tragic trajectory of the life and work of Terry Sawchuk, dark driven genius of a goalie who survived twenty tough seasons in an era of inadequate upper-body equipment and no player representation.” You can hear Randall Maggs reading from the book on YouTube. Read the poems; watch for the film.

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.

watching poetry

January 11, 2019

If you’re ready for a little poetic video viewing, have a look at Aeon. The site offers a wide array of long- and short-form essays and digital musings as well as a variety of materials on poetry, including, “The brevity and beauty of Yeats’s verses reveal poetry’s enduring significance” and “‘Now I will do nothing but listen’ – Walt Whitman on how sound shapes the self.” (And in case there’s not enough of the stuff right outside your window, have a look at “A meditative cinepoem from 1929 captures the reflective, ethereal wonders of water.”) Enjoy.

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.

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