StAnza’s film programme is dedicated to showing both filmed poetry, be these readings or dramatisations, and the cutting edge medium of the filmpoem. A poetry film, filmpoem or videopoem strives for a symbiotic relationship of images, words, and sound and/or music. Filmpoems can integrate all the arts, from drama and dance through music to animation or documentary elements. Our 2021 film programme includes films from Russia as part of our Beyond the Iron Curtain translation focus, as well as filmpoems connecting with our themes of Make it New and No Rhyme nor Reason.
Call it Ours by Desree, directed by Matt Kynaston: From ‘Dulce et decorum est’ to ‘I can’t breathe’, Call It Ours takes the viewer on a journey. Panning through moments in our history, it looks at times when words were truly needed, igniting minds and warming hearts in the darkness. Poetry has always captured feelings and enabled stories to be carried down through the generations, from parents and teachers to children and scholars. Using archival footage, this work celebrates times past and present, following history and on into these unprecedented times.
Homefound celebrates how far a poem can travel even when we can’t. During lockdown, 30 participants from 13 countries across the world submitted words and photographs that summarised what had made them happy during lockdown. Words came from countries including Scotland, Columbia, Canada, Greece, South Africa, Australia, Singapore and Italy, and were woven into a filmpoem by writer Catherine Wilson.
When I think of my mother: Jinling Wu produced this filmpoem for StAnza in response to Elizabeth Bishop’s poem ‘One Art’, with reference to Asian cinema aesthetics and taking inspiration from French filmmaker Frank Beauvais’s Just Don't Think I'll Scream.
Semechki (Семечки), by Eta Dahlia, is a series of experimental translations of minimalist Russian poems into gestural drawings by poet Iris Colomb.
Aral, by Eta Dahlia, with actor Alexey May, is a videopoem exploring ways of blending and merging spoken and written word through the story of a man with the unconventional desire to be a ship. The narrative follows the struggle of a human being unable to accomplish his existential dream. The filmpoem has won a number of awards, including Best Poetry Film at Social Machinery Film Festival 2018.
On How The Palace Bridge Opens Up Its Hands, by Marina Kazakova: a visualisation of a Russian-language symphonic poem in collaboration with Aram Karakhanyan from Armenia (voice-over), Bart Dewolf from Belgium (drawings in ink and aryl) and Sam Billen from Belgium (animation artist).
Carving Knives, an unsettling film of the eponymous poem by Ruth Aylett, questioning our relationship with language. Film by Ruth Aylett; music, Home Road by Kai Engel.
Odin’s Ravens, a response to the Norse myth, playful in parts, thoughtful in others. Film and text by Ruth Aylett; music by Dee Yan-Key.
Blash of God, The Buchanites, A Heretic’s Tale, poems by Hugh Mcmillan and film by Robert Campbell Henderson: Edith Buchan led a band of religious fanatics in 1783 who roamed southwest Scotland, believing the end of the world was nigh and moral restraint was pointless. This film was commissioned by Wigtown Book Festival in 2019.
New Gaelic Poems: In summer 2020, the Gaelic Books Council commissioned filmed poems by a range of Gaelic poets. We’re thrilled to showcase two of these, by Aonghas Pàdraig Caimbuel and Beth Frieden, as part of StAnza 2021.
Czech, Please: A short film about contemporary Czech poetry, created specially for StAnza 2021 by Jan Zikmund of the Czech Literary Centre.
In partnership with the Czech Literary Centre, the Gaelic Books Council and Wigtown Book Festival