~ Filmmaker: Jonathan Brennan ~

Four Attempts at Making a Human by Dylan Brennan

The full title of this videopoem is Four Attempts At Making A Human – (not) after the Popol Vuh. In recent days it was announced as the winner of the poetry film competition at the revived Drumshanbo Written Word Weekend in County Leitrim, Ireland.

Writer Dylan Brennan and film-maker Jonathan Brennan are the creative duo behind the piece. From their statement at Vimeo:

Popol Vuh is an ancient Guatemalan/Maya text. It is the origin story of the Maya people. In it, the Gods make several attempts at creating humans using a variety of materials: from mud or clay to wood and corn. However, each of these substances prove unsuccessful until they try to make humans out of corn. Finally they succeed.

The poem is in three parts, each with a different tone and pattern on the page. The video recreates this using three sections, each employing a different technique from handheld to stop motion animation to kaleidoscopic effects. Subtle sound effects feature in sections one and two.

Poet and film-maker Colm Scully adjudicated the competition. From his statement on the winning film:

Perhaps about fertility, perhaps a dystopian Frankenstein like horror with a twist at the end, it worked beautifully. Partly filmed in Leitrim Four attempts at making a Human deserves rewatching over and over again, and the visual impact forces rereading of the very powerful poem.

Congratulations to the winning artists and organisers of the event, a further development in the culture of poetry film in Ireland.