Marie Craven is an Australian film-maker who has directed, written and/or produced short films since 1984. Based in Queensland since 2002, she spent her early childhood living on a sheep and cattle station in country NSW, before her family relocated to Melbourne in 1967.
Poem by Dave Bonta, written by selecting words from a page of The Diary of Samuel Pepys, 1663. Images by Elisa Schorn circa 1900 via Double-M at Flickr. Music by Adi Carter. Video by Marie Craven.
Marie Craven’s notes on making the video:
Over a couple of years I’ve been following the erasure poetry of Dave Bonta, drawn from the 17th century Diary of Samuel Pepys. Erasure poetry, for those not familiar, is the process of selecting disconnected words from a pre-existing text to create a poem from them. It’s a kind of word game, and a discipline. In the case of Dave’s erasure poetry, it’s also a mammoth project he’s been carrying on almost daily since 2013. Just last month he published a short poem called ‘Anatomy‘. This one had a special resonance to me and I immediately started thinking about creating a video from it. Dave shares all his poetry on a remix-friendly Creative Commons licence, meaning anyone can incorporate it in a new work in a new medium. I also have direct communications with Dave over the net and he’s featured many of the video poems I’ve released over the past couple of years on his great Moving Poems website. A track called ‘Red Blood‘, from Adi Carter, is the music here. I’ve known Adi online since 2007 and we’ve collaborated many times musically in the past. His music has also featured on two other video poems I’ve put together: ‘Sometimes the Water‘ and ‘Transmission‘. For the visuals in the ‘Anatomy’ video, I went to the albums of Double-M, at Flickr, where many vintage images are available on a Creative Commons remix licence. I selected a group of illustrations on human anatomy by Elisa Schorn circa 1900. They are ‘animated’ in the video roughly 10 frames at a time, in rhythm with the music. I decided to present the poem as a stream of single words on the screen, in a slower rhythmic flow than the images. This resolves into a full presentation of the written piece at the end, with its original formatting, as on the page. So pleased to have made this one, and especially that both Dave and Adi are happy with it too.
Dave Bonta’s notes on the video:
Published in Gnarled Oak journal:
Official Selection, Juteback Poetry Film Festival, USA, 2017:
Official Selection, Festival Silencio, Portugal, 2017:
Curated Program, MiX Conference, UK, 2017:
Athens International Video Poetry Festival, Greece, 2018:
Artist Film Workshop, Melbourne, Australia, 2018: