Three nights | Three poetry films
This year, the two Maltese poetry films chosen by the Poetry on Film jury to be screened at the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival are being produced by Trevor Borg, and Lyanne Mifsud and Nicky Aquilina. Trevor Borg will be working on “Fuq Għoljiet Dingli” by Victor Fenech, whilst Lyanne Mifsud and Nicky Aquilina will work on “Relazzjoni” by Maria Grech Ganado. Read Leanne Ellul’s blog post below.
The foreign poetry film being screened this year is “Off the Trail” (2015), by Jacob Cartwright and Nick Jordan, based on the poem “Endless streams and mountains” by Gary Snyder.
Maltese Poetry on Film 2017 | Inizjamed and Valletta 2018 Foundation
Leanne Ellul shares some thoughts with Valletta 2018 Foundation about the chosen films for the project Poetry on Film 2017.
Coffee. Everything starts with coffee. And poems, papers, films, discussions, proposals, marks and results. This year there is also a microwave, an LP, a teacup stain, a washing machine and woman doing her hair. The fourth edition of Poetry on Film has already gained momentum and has lived in Valletta, Sliema and Rabat. On the 18th of February we had a seminar organised at Teatru Salesjan, and a month later we met the applicants at Studio Solipsis.
The poems by Maria Grech Ganado and Victor Fenech, chosen by the project’s literary consultant, offered a challenge to those who wished to produce a film about them. There were nine applications in all, and after we scanned them (and sipped a little more coffee), we discussed them, and came up with a final decision.
This year, the two poetry films will be produced by Trevor Borg, and Lyanne Mifsud and Nicky Aquilina. Trevor Borg will be working on Fuq Għoljiet Dingli by Victor Fenech, whilst Lyanne Mifsud and Nicky Aquilina will work on Relazzjoni by Maria Grech Ganado.
FUQ GĦOLJIET DINGLI
Mitoloġiku l-għabex fuq l-għoljiet Dingli.
Mifrud mit-thewdin u t-twerdin tas-Seklu
Għoxrin, nistħajlu ħrafa minn Elf Lejl u Wieħed:
il-qamar ximitarra bla maqbad,
kampnar imqareb jixxabbat fuq għolja,
qanpiena lubiena tinbex is-skiet …
Max-xefaq blati mitħna wara mitħna tar-riħ,
’il bogħod, f’mogħdija sserrep bejn ħitan tas-sejjieħ,
ħmar, bidwi, karettun –
fdal ta’ Malta antika …
“The industrial deadlock continued today …”
Nitfi r-radju, kull ħoss jgħib,
u ninża’ minn fuqi is-seklu tar-rgħib.
The two films put the poems at the heart of the film. Trevor Borg proposes that the poem will become film and each verse is set to accumulate time and distance. The poet himself will feature in the film, walking, in Dingli. And with every pace he makes, more poetry will unravel. Lyanne Mifsud and Nicky Aquilina will work on a visual interpretation of Ganado’s poem by capturing everyday life, the tone and temperament that lead to decadence. Having a circle as the dominant shape in the film, the films promises a visual experience that will take us back to the starting point. For the first time ever.
Maria Grech Ganado
Għall-ewwel kulma lgħabna
onġi onġi onġella,
u wara ftit, id f’id,
Iss’ iżda logħba noli
li aktarx ma tintemm qatt.
Ritratti waqt il-ġbid tal-film tal-poeżija “Relazzjoni”
These two films will be premiered during the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival at Fort St Elmo between the 24th and 26th of August.
Poetry on Film is a project by the Valletta 2018 Foundation in collaboration with Inizjamed.
Off the Trail at the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival 2017
The 2016 ZEBRA Prize for the Best Poetry Film, donated by the Haus für Poesie, went to “Off the Trail” (2015), by Jacob Cartwright and Nick Jordan, based on the poem “Endless streams and mountains” by Gary Snyder.
The statement by the jury: “For a prae-apocalyptic journey throughout a perfect guide in a stitched uniform into a world that’s going to unravel itself. Jordan resituates Snyder’s contemplation on Dao De Jing and nature into a rolling Californian landscape of fog-shrouded hills, dense woodland valleys, and empty military barracks.”
Filmed in former US military barracks, and in the long-abandoned homes and circular library of Gary Snyder and Zen philosopher Alan Watts, “Off the Trail” follows a central protagonist, a soldier from another era, as he performs a series of actions and rituals. The uniformed figure paints Chinese nature symbols, chants, meditates and wanders dreamlike through a rolling Californian landscape of fog-shrouded hills, coastal defences and dense woodland valleys. Scenes are accompanied by haiku and poetry readings from poets Michael McClure and Gary Snyder, and the disembodied voice of Alan Watts, ruminating upon the passage of time and our perception of the wild.
Born 1967. He lives and works in Manchester, UK. He has a MA in Fine Art from Manchester Metropolitan University and from Nottingham Trent University and studied Film & Video Production at the West Sussex College of Art. nickjordan.info/offthetrail.html