‘I Heart Poetry’ was a haven for those both wrapped-up or fed-up with that rose-tinged calendar event – Valentine’s Day. As part of Ideas Tap Love Take over, playwright, spoken-word poet and all round creative wizardress Sabrina Mahfouz, gathered her poetic posse to grace the Rich Mix stage on the cusp of Shoreditch for a night of heart-warming and heartbreaking acts.
Raymond Antrobus, my brother and poet, was tasked with the excitable job of curating the film section of the night. Knowing what’s good for him, he asked me to collaborate on the job.
We spent hours trailing through the virtual corridors of YouTube and barking up the trees of Vimeo in search of short films fit for the brief.
After wading through migraine-inducing selfie videos of rookie poets barking over-pronounced prose into spit-splattered iPhones, or subtitled poems written in Comic Sans fading in and out of clip art images of mountains, we found our finalists.
We wanted to exemplify that poetry can be seen, not just heard and sometimes words are not needed if the visuals speak volumes – much like the poetic animation in Ryan J Woodward’s Amor a Vida. The wonderful film-making skills of Karl Falconer challenged the idea of poetry in motion with his film The Big Day which was good enough to make the shortlist for 2013’s Virgin Media Shorts final..so was good enough for us. We also wanted to show that love is also not just about how blissfully happy or tragically sad a man, or a woman can make you. Sometimes, a grapefruit can do the job nicely as poet Rob Auton proves.
Sticking to the traditional script of spoken word poetry, was a beautiful poem – Epithalamion: A Love poem for Ben and Wendell by Jon Sands – the giver of goosebumps. The film left the audience cooing (and crying) at the recital of a piece written for the wedding of his brother. If it doesn’t move you, you have no pulse.
Here’s another chance to watch the short films deemed good enough for the night. Enjoy. We did.
Rob Auton: Yellow
Ryan J Woodward: Amor a Vida
Jon Sands – Epithalamion: A Love poem for Ben and Wendell
Film by Ram Devineni
Ashi Oto: Footsteps
Directed by: Adam Docker
Benin City: My love
Video shot and edited by Charlie Behrens
Raymond Antrobus: It’s Complicated
Director: Zainab Adamu
Karl Falconer: The Big Day
Warsan Shire: Excuses For Why We Failed At Love
Director: Zainab Adamu