Ten Invitations to the Poetry Film Genre

I am often caught between Kant and Hegel: Am I more interested in the free play of the faculties of imagination and knowledge and the incomprehensible “aesthetic idea” of a work of art, which always gives more to think than can be understood, or is the conceptual content more important for making a work valuable than its form? In this debate I never wanted to bend in one direction. Apparently my favorite poetry films have both: they create a unique mood associated with questions that are relevant and thought-provoking, but at the same time, they also create pleasure in listening and watching, a revelry in visual stimuli, textures, surprises. The following films are not a top ten list in the sense of a canon. There are just 10 examples I would like to collect here to fill in the format. Or let’s say: they are ten invitations to watch poetry films. Please enjoy them!

Arte Poetica

Director: Neels Castillon
Text: Jorge Luis Borges

The Polish Language

Director: Alice Lyons with Orla Mc Hardy
Text: Alice Lyons

A Petty Morning Crime

Animation: Asparuh Petrov
Text: Georgi Gospodinov

Pipene / The Pipes

Director: Kristian Pedersen
Text and voiceover: Øyvind Rimbereid

What abou’ de Lô / What about the law

Director: Charles Badenhorst
Text and voiceover: Adam Small

The Desktop Metaphor

Director: Helmie Stil
Text: Caleb Parkin

Chamada Geral / Calling All

Director: Manuel Vilarinho
Text: Mário-Henrique Leiria

Hail the Bodhisattva of Collected Junk

Director: Ye Mimi
Text: Yin Ni


Director: Martin Kelly with Ian McBryde
Text: Ian McBryde

Steel and Air

Directors: Chris and Nick Libbey
Text: John Ashbery.

As a board member of the Literary Society of Thuringia e.V. in Weimar, Guido Naschert organizes and moderates readings and discussions on contemporary literature and poetry. For some years he has been committed to the poetry film genre: Since 2014, together with the artist Aline Helmcke, he has edited the Poetryfilmkanal / Poetryfilm magazine; since 2016 he has curated the international Weimar Poetry Film Award at the backup short film festival of the Bauhaus University; and he is a jury member of the Central German project on poetry film production lab / p –poetry in motion (Ostpol e.V., DLL, Leipzig).