~ Filmmaker: Graeme Maguire ~

Mother by Tim Atkins

One doesn’t tend to expect an ecofeminist poetry film from a male director and poet, but Graeme Maguire and Tim Atkins have given us just that. Here’s Maguire’s description on Vimeo:

DIRECTOR: Graeme Maguire
POETRY: Tim Atkins
SOUNDS: Paul D. McDowell
STARRING: Sarah Maguire, Gordon Raphael, Annie Gardiner, Sheridan Lunt and ‘Bump’
ASSISTANCE: James Sharkk
PROPS: Valerie Snelgrove
THANKS TO: Band Films, Bristol

MOTHER is a short film shot on super-8 and contains no dialogue. It is accompanied by a poetic interpretation by Tim Atkins and a guitar sound track by Paul D. McDowell. It is the story of a heavily pregnant woman on her journey towards birth. She carries a piece of paper inscribed with a symbol. Exhausted, she searches for the origins of the symbol in the hope of finding help. What she finds is more powerful than she could ever have imagined.

The starting point for Mother was the word ‘translation’. The film is about the medicalisation of birth and the ever-present persecution of midwives (witches). It symbolically tackles the issues of consent, control and blind trust in the male authoritarian within the medical institution. Mother is about the destruction of this institution by the ultimate power of nature.

Gentlemen by Marcus Slease

Like contemporary lyric poetry itself, poetry film these days is overwhelmingly serious in tone. Here’s an exception. Bristol-based filmmaker Graeme Maguire and poet Marcus Slease have produced “an experiment in letting go of perfection and critical thinking” that’s also highly entertaining in a Rabelaisian sort of way. Let me reproduce Maguire’s Vimeo description in full:

DIRECTOR: Graeme Maguire
POETRY: Marcus Slease
SOUNDS: Annie Gardiner of Hysterical Injury
STARRING: Rick Hambleton, Natalie Brown, Mo, Jamie Lindsay
THANKS TO: The Cube, Scubaboy Inc, Floating Harbour Studios, Geneva Stop

Gentlemen is a poetry film project in collaboration with poet Marcus Slease. The film was created for an event called Uptight in Bristol, the name of which was the inspiration for the theme of the film. Inspired by Robert Frank’s ‘Pull My Daisy’, a silent film overlaid with jazz music and poetry by Jack Kerouac, Gentlemen is shot on super-8 and contains no dialogue. It is accompanied by a poetic narration by Marcus and an interpretive bass guitar sound track by Annie Gardiner.

The film is also an experiment in letting go of perfection and critical thinking. It was shot on one 3 minute roll of super-8 with all editing done in-camera. This meant planning and timing out all the shots before the shoot and then shooting each one in sequence using a stop watch. After processing the film the result is a fully edited film. This also meant that we could only do one take of each shot so the actors HAD to get it right first time!

Sarah Maguire is also a poet, and with Slease is the co-founder of Uptight, which has an interesting mission:

[I]nstead of moaning about not being able to connect with other British poets, we want to join forces with artists in other mediums and create a united front against the thugs that control the literary, political and social world of this country. Just as the Beats were influenced by Bop Jazz, and the New York school poets inspired by painters, we feel more at home with Bristol’s DIY artists/musicians/activists.

We are two poets, Sarah Maguire (Bristol) and Marcus Slease (London) that to put it mildly are sick of traditional intellectual, stiff, PHD driven British poetry and feel obligated to do something …anything ….to make a change.

We have created Uptight for our own mental health and general punk fuck you activism! We will hold regular events that will bring together poetry, music and film. Our events will be queer friendly, woman friendly and we will make every effort to be inclusive and engage with artists of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Uptight is working on the first publication of a print (YES real recycled paper) and online magaZINE that will show case all that is truly modern in art and poetry.

Check it out.