~ Poet: Brendan Constantine ~

The Opposites Game by Brendan Constantine (2)

A classroom erupts into a war of words as students grapple with a seemingly simple prompt: what is the opposite of a gun?

This animation of Brendan Constantine‘s poem by Anna Samo and Lisa LaBracio went viral, with more than 24,700 views on Vimeo and 364,814 views
on YouTube. It probably helps that it was a Vimeo staff pick. But it’s also

part of TED-Ed’s series, “There’s a Poem for That,” which features animated interpretations of poems both old and new that give language to some of life’s biggest feelings.

See the Vimeo description for the full credits and list of honors.

We previously shared Mike Gioia’s film adaptation of the same poem. I’m not sure which I prefer; both have their strengths.

The Opposites Game by Brendan Constantine

This film of Brendan Constantine‘s brilliant anti-gun poem (click through for the text) kicked off a promising new YouTube channel called Blank Verse Films, the work of L.A.-based filmmaker Mike Gioia. He described his modus operandi in an email: “I travel around filming poets, and then edit the recitations into little films.” He added,

Making the videos is much more challenging and exciting than I originally anticipated. I’m trying lots of different approaches but still don’t feel like I’ve “cracked the code” of how to film poetry. Later this month I’m going to try some experiments with dramatic reenactments of poems that will use actors who speak the lines of poetry.

Do consider subscribing to his channel and (of course) watching the other films. There’s also a Facebook page.

The Translation by Brendan Constantine

Sarah Jensen directed this adaptation of a poem by Los Angeles-based poet Brendan Constantine (which I found via his website, following a link below his excellent new poem in Rattle, “Red Sugar Blue Smoke“). Here’s the description on Vimeo:

A Hello, Margeaux Production
Written and Read by Brendan Constantine
Write Bloody Publishing
Music by Carina Pearson
Featuring Laura Whitfield and Philip Hood
Concept and Direction by Sarah Jensen
Video and Edit by Amy Hobbs