In Search of the Perfect Poetry Film

Is there such a thing as the perfect poetry film? If there is, what might it look like? Is poetry film a genre of filmmaking or a literary form? In this video essay I share what I’ve found during my ten year search for the perfect poetry film.

I’ve spent the last 12 years studying film and poetry, and transfered my photographic knowledge to film, I’ve endlessly experimented with combining words, images and sound. I’ve viewed poetry films from as far away as Australia, South Africa, Canada. I’ve visited poetry film festivals in the UK, Germany, Athens and Ireland. I’ve listened to experts as they’ve made confident, knowledgeable and impressive statements of what poetry film should and shouldn’t be. But I’ve been disappointed. I haven’t seen much of what I’ve hoped for, what I know could be. Sometimes the poetry isn’t convincing. Or not much thought has been given to it by the filmmaker. Or the film is so brilliantly ‘filmic’ that the poem is lost. I’ve seen combinations of film and writing – fine poetic artworks – but they haven’t been what I was looking for. And so, I went in search of the perfect poetry film…

In Search of the Pefect Poetry Film was first shown at the Big Poetry Weekend in October 2021.

The script and delivery are note perfect. The entire piece has a searching quality that resists easy answers or received ideas.

Finn Harvor

I find something vulnerable and relatable to humans speaking about something they love, the ideas become more richly valuable somehow than when simply read on the page.

Marie Craven