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.

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