STEVE GRIFFITHS POET
WHERE FILM AND POEM TAKE OFF
TOGETHER IN CELEBRATION
The easy bit, though it's hard to choose them: the films that are stonkers, where film and a celebratory poem work as one and enhance both elements - and where the film-maker has taken a bold step, be it simple or complex, and it's come off.
There were a few of those. This doesn't mean they were the 'best', because there were other ways for the filmpoems to excel. I'd choose five. Let's take it from the simplest:
'Imprint', where four short fragments are held together by one cinematic image, reflecting the economy of the poems.
Then, 'The Same Place', where more complex filmwork enhances a stormy poem; and the tight, economic backing band provided by Ogmios takes film and poem to another place.
An opposite pole to the simplicity of 'Imprint' is the rich visual composition of 'The Spotted Leaves of Some Marsh Orchids': an old man celebrates a moment of memorably profound connection. This is Ogmios' stunning musical debut for the project.
'Backstroke', though it appears complex, is a panned camera across the photo that's the origin of the poem. The Corelli string music matches the rhythm of film and poem beautifully.
Finally, back to extreme simplicity: a little pair of poems, 'January' and 'To arrive at breakfast': one just a fragment, a delighted thought. January, maybe a midwinter of the soul, but it's all right somehow, learning to be alone, and then not alone. There's a magical transition from the slow penetration of a wood under deep snow, to a still in black and white, far, far, back, to a little boy on a beach, to the distant, evocative piano of old friend and composer John Hywel. More extreme closeup, of a man not young, but alive.
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