For the Birds by Mike Hoolboom

Canadian Mike Hoolboom has been highly esteemed in the world of experimental film-making for decades. His work mostly falls within a subset of that genre involving unconventional approaches to narrative. The spoken words of his films also come across as a kind of prose poetry, and here his work crosses into the area of videopoetry.

Mike often voices his own films in the first person evoking a sense of autobiography, while subverting that perception with unlikely confessions, irony and dashes of absurdity. Still his films and words convey something truly personal and deeply moving.

A statement from him about this video, For the Birds:

One of my father’s favourite expressions, mostly passed away now: for the birds. Meaning: that was nothing. In this aviary anthology, the narrator describes a post-art life that leads, inexorably, to the nature of nature. He makes a vow to the birds, sincere to the last, still embracing the fantasy that language came before the world.

Moving Poems previously shared his prophetic 1998 film In the Future. I included another of his films, Rain, in the Poetry + Video program that toured pre-pandemic Europe in 2019.

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