~ Filmmaker: Pamela Falkenberg ~

Hypnic Jerk by Alan Peat

Selected for the 2023 Haiku North America Haibun Film Festival. Browse the other selections.

An homage to Henri Rousseau by Austin-based collaborative filmmakers Pamela Falkenberg and Jack Cochran. The password is Hypn!c

British poet Alan Peat has won top awards in the Golden Haiku Contest, the New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition, the Otoroshi Rengay Contest, the BHS Ken and Norah Jones Haibun Award, the San Francisco International Haibun Contest, the Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest, the Heliosparrow Semagram Contest, and the Time Haiku ekphrastic haibun contest—all since 2021. He was one of three winners in the Touchstone Awards for Individual Haibun competition (2022). He is clearly on a roll.

Judges’ statement: “We loved this one in the way that one loves a children’s book even as an adult and can’t wait to share it with one’s own kids. It has a warm and playful feeling of familiarity, excitement, fun and fast-paced adventure. The idea of the moving layers of jungle and animations within, and the cuts to the paintings in a gallery are fabulous. Can poetry be a lighthearted and fun action movie? Yes, it can!”

Directors’ statement:

Hooked by the mention of Rosseau’s jungle in the first line of Allen Peat’s evocative and mysterious Haibun, “Hypnic Jerk,” we wondered if we could create a wholly imaginary world cut from the cloth of Rousseau’s fantastical paintings and the dream illogic of Peat’s brilliantly fragmented, hypnic poetic strategy. We had previously tried something with a similar kind of logic, when making a film based on Wallace Stevens’ out-of-copyright “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” another anything-goes kind of videopoetry project, where our method was to capture the startling images his words evoked for us using whatever crazy means necessary, and to manipulate those images in unexpected and visually poetic ways. Very early in the pre-production stages, we thought we might need to supplement Rousseau’s painted imagery with video of jungle plants shot in public conservatories and gardens in Illinois and Texas, which could be collaged to create a virtual jungle backdrop for the poem’s action. Then we we reviewed Rousseau’s body of paintings, which included a substantial number that we hadn’t seen before, and we realized we could go whole hog and construct an entirely imaginary Rousseau world by animating and collaging his painted imagery, coupled with an evocative soundscape score composed almost entirely from natural sounds.

The Shadow by Lucy English

A meditation on belonging and place from filmmakers Jack Cochran and Pamela Falkenberg of Outlier Moving Pictures and poet Lucy English — the February afternoon film for her Book of Hours Project.