The Juteback Poetry Film Festival 2018: a review and compilation

The power and importance of curation is once again demonstrated by the eclectic and compelling selections included in the 2018 Juteback Poetry Film Festival, which was held at the Wolverine Farm Publishing’s Letterpress and Publick House in Ft. Collins, CO on Friday, October 19, 2018. Organizers R.W. Perkins (poet, writer, and filmmaker from Loveland, CO) and Matt Mullins (writer, musician, experimental filmmaker, and multimedia artist who teaches creative writing at Ball State University and is the mixed media editor of Atticus Review) have put together a program that surveys the breadth and depth of film poetry rather than attempting to construct or validate some narrow canon. From animated calligraphy to found footage, from flicker film techniques to metamorphosing animation, from abstracting digital layering to Hollywood narrative techniques, from dreamlike transitions and juxtapositions to post-apocalyptic mise-en-scene, from beauty in a broken world to cultural and political critique, from digital image fracturing and recombination to stark, off-balance, black-and-white compositions harking back to Man Ray, from silent film techniques to spoken word poetry, from digital remixing to music video techniques, and from preschool poets to poetic giants from the past to unpublished poets who are also filmmakers, the selections survey the state of video poetry and yet reflect the tastes and inclinations of Perkins and Mullins, who hopefully will keep this festival going for years to come.

One interesting feature of Juteback 2018 was live poetry readings by the 2018 poet laureate of Ft. Collins, Natalie Giarratano, and 2013 Ft. Collins poet laureate, Jason Hardung. If you don’t know them, both of them are poets worth exploring.

Also worth mentioning is that both Perkins and Mullins each showed one of their own poetry films to open the festival, in order to demonstrate that they are poetry film practitioners as well as curators. Perkins’ film is Visions of Snow, and Mullins’ film is One/Another.

As Perkins noted in his closing comments, most of the films in the festival are available openly, and he encouraged the festival audience to share what they liked as widely as possible. With that in mind, here are links to the poetry films (where possible), and to trailers for the films or links to the filmmakers’ websites (where the films themselves could not be found).

Perkins and Mullins are seeking to expand the audience for the Juteback Poetry Film Festival. If anyone has any suggestions, you can contact them.

(Full disclosure: Pamela Falkenberg and Jack Cochran’s The Names of Trees was one of the poetry films included in the 2018 Juteback Poetry Film Festival.)

Carolyn Rumley
One Step Away

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Rita Mae Reese
Alphabet Conspiracy

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Jutta Pryor
Poet Matt Dennison
The Bird

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Cindy St. Onge
My Lover’s Pretty Mouth

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Ellen Hemphill and Jim Haverkamp
Poet Marc Zegans
The Danger Meditations

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Kate Sweeney
Poet Anna Woodford
Work

(readers of the email digest or RSS feed may need to click through to the post to view this embed)

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Mohammad Enamul and Haque Kha
Poet Sadi Taif
A Vagabond Wind

(this is a 50-second trailer for the film poem)

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Pam Falkenberg and Jack Cochran
Poet Lucy English
The Names of Trees

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Marie Craven
Poet Matt Hetherington
Light Ghazal

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Dan Douglas
Poet Paul Summers
Bun Stop

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Vivek Jain
Poet Kirti Pherwani
I Don’t Know

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Mark Niehus
Shiver

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Eduardo Yagüe
Poet Samuel Beckett
Qué Palabra

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Eliot Michl
Don’t Tell Me I’m Beautiful

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Gilbert Sevigny
Poet Jean Coulombe
Au Jardin Bleu (In the Blue Garden)

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Lisa Seidenberg
Poet Gertrude Stein
America

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Merissa Victor
Poet Angelica Poversky
The Entropy of Forgiveness

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Kathryn Darnell
Poet Bertolt Brecht
Motto: A Poem by Bertolt Brecht
Visit her Vimeo page, where you can watch 14 videos using similar animated calligraphy techniques, though Motto is not among them.

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Kidst Ayalew Abebe
Poet Femi Bájúlayé
Bámidélé

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A. D. Cooper
Home to the Hangers

(this is a 48 second trailer for the 5-minute film, which is behind a password to protect its film festival qualifications)

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Luna Ontenegro, Ginés Olivares, and Adrian Fisher (mmmmmfilms collective)
Fatal When They Touch
Visit the collective’s webpage for the film (which does not include the film itself).

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Jane Glennie
Poet Brittani Sonnenberg
Coyote Wedding

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Nancy Kangas
Preschool Poets: An Animated Series
Visit the Vimeo page for the Preschool Poets project, which has the eight films compiled for Juteback, as well as some behind-the-scenes video.

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Steven Fox
Alone
There’s a Facebook page for the local actor and filmmaker, but there does not seem to be any online link to the film.

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Team BTSD
Perpetuum
(Special screening)

Pam Falkenberg

Pam Falkenberg

Pam Falkenberg is an independent filmmaker who received her PhD from the University of Iowa and taught at Northern Illinois University, St.Mary's College, and the University of Notre Dame. She directed the largest student film society in the US while she was at the University of Iowa, and also ran films series for the Snite Museum of Art in South Bend, IN. Her experimental film with Dan Curry, Open Territory, received an individual filmmaker grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as grants from the Center for New Television and the Indiana Arts Council. OT was screened at numerous film festivals, including the AFI Video Festival, and was nominated for a regional Emmy. Her other films include museum installations, scholarly/academic hybrid works shown at film conferences, and a documentary commissioned by the Peace Institute at the University of Notre Dame. Currently Pam makes films together with collaborator Jack Cochran under the name Outlier Moving Pictures. Pam and Jack met in graduate school and made films together when they were young. When Jack left Iowa to become a professional cinematographer working out of LA and London, Pam stayed in the Midwest, where she eventually dropped out of academia to work in visual display. The Cost of Living, their first film together after reconnecting four years ago, is based on some of Jack’s short poems, and screened at several film festivals, including the Buffalo International Film Festival and the Cornwall Film Festival, taking the award for best experimental film at the WV FILMmakers Festival in 2016. Other short poetry films have screened at the Ò Bhéal Poetry Film Festival (2016), the Juteback Poetry Film Festival (2017), the Festival Silencio (2017), the Filmpoem Festival 2017 (Lewes, East Sussex), the 6th CYCLOP Videopoetry Festival (Kyiv, Ukraine), and the 6th International Video Poetry Festival (Athens Greece). Their recently completed experimental documentary essay about the North Dakota landscape, Teddy Roosevelt and Fracking, showed out-of-competition as a work-in-progress at the WV FILMmakers Fest in 2017, and premiered at the Queens World International Film Festival in March 2018, where it was nominated for three awards and took the prize for best documentary short. Their most recent poetry films are collaborations with spoken word poet Lucy English, The Shadow and The Names of Trees, for her Book of Hours project (https://thebookofhours.org/). Pam wants to make lots of different kinds of films with Jack, but she is especially proud to have been the one who suggested that Jack’s poems should be made into films. Pam discovered Moving Poems and Moving Poems Magazine when she was looking for ways to expand the audience for Outlier’s film poems beyond traditional film festivals, whose submission categories are often infelicitous. Moving Poems and Moving Poems Magazine is the most complete and informative resource she discovered, and she quickly became a fan and follower. Pam appreciates Dave Bonta’s “big tent” approach and encyclopedic knowledge, his unimpeachable ethics, and his thorough research. She also appreciates the time and energy that Dave devotes to keeping Moving Poems the high quality resource that it is, so when Dave called for volunteers to help out a bit, she was quick to volunteer. She hopes that she can offer a bit of relief while Dave continues at the helm. You can learn more about Pam at outliermovingpictures.com, vimeo.com/outliermovingpictures, facebook.com/outliermovingpictures, twitter.com/outlierpics, twitter.com/tweetcinepoem, and instagram.com/outliermovingpictures. You can contact Pam directly at outliermovingpictures@gmail.com.

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