Featuring Colombian poet Lilián Pallares, her niece Mia Gill and Minnie the cat. Music: Clara Schumann, Praeludium I, Tres Preludios y Fugas (Op.16) played by Charles Olsen.
Charles Olsen (b. New Zealand, 1969) moved to the UK in 1981 and to Spain in 2003. His short film ‘The dance of the brushes’ won second prize in the Flamenco Short Film Festival, Madrid, 2010, and his paintings have been shown in Madrid, Barcelona, Oporto, Paris, Wellington, and the Saatchi Gallery, London. He has published the collections of poetry ‘Sr Citizen’ (Amargord, 2011) and ‘Antípodas’ (Huerga & Fierro, 2016) and has participated en various poetry festivals and anthologies. He has been awarded the III Antonio Machado Fellowship of Segovia and Soria, 2018, and the XIII distinction Poetas de Otros Mundos (Poets from Other Worlds) by the Fondo Poético Internacional in Spain, 2017. He runs the online poetry project Palabras Prestadas (Given Words) and alongside Lilián Pallares he runs the audiovisual production company antenablue. Their work has been shown in the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival (Berlin), Liberated Words (Bristol), Sinestesia (Barcelona), ‘Cruces y Convergencias’ in La Neomudéjar (Madrid), Filmpoem Festival FelixPakhuis (Antwerp), and Festival Silêncio (Lisbon), among others, and featured in Moving Poems, Poetry Film Live, Atticus Review and Blackmail Press. In 2020 he has received a Visual Arts residency jointly with Lilián Pallares at Matadero Madrid. He has contributed essays to the forthcoming ‘The Poetics of Poetry Film’, Bristol: Intellect Books, S. Tremlett (ed).
The film is dedicated to the poet’s mother Rocio Campo, who passed away the week after filming. The poem itself was inspired by a conversation Lilián had with her niece Mia.
Our thoughts were very much with Lilián’s mother in hospital in Colombia when we were filming in Almenara, Spain. The Covid-19 restrictions made travel to Colombia out of the question. The filming was very spontaneous, taking advantage of the one windy day during our stay. Mia just happened to call us that day on Messenger and we filmed her talking with Lilián. The music for the video is a prelude by Clara Schumann which I had begun studying this year and seemed to evoke the rolling of the waves and a certain melancholy of the poem.
These serendipitous moments combined with the sentiment in the poem and the shadow of the illness and death of a loved one made this a particularly emotive project to work on.