~ George Aguilar ~

Of poetry-video links new and old

Vimeo's dead video notice

The haunted forest: Vimeo’s dead video notice

One of the most often neglected tasks in maintaining a website like Moving Poems is keeping the links up-to-date. Link-rot is a constant threat to the usability of resources such as our general links page or our list of web resources for videopoem makers, not to mention the post archives themselves. With the latter, my traditional approach has been to unpublish posts whenever I discover that the embedded video has disappeared from YouTube or Vimeo and I can’t find another copy to swap in. But recently I’ve had a change of heart and decided that from now on I’m going to let such posts stay up, since they do still have documentary value.

Keeping a links page fresh obviously requires regularly adding new links as well, not to mention reassessing links to older sites as they change focus or become less valuable for whatever reason. So there are several new links on the main page to explore, and a couple of things that got bumped.

But the biggest change is a new page for poetry film festivals — the list was just getting too big and unruly for inclusion on the main links page. I’ve split it into two sections, “New and ongoing festivals” and “Inactive and historical festivals.” The latter list doesn’t include every poetry film festival ever, just those that were held at least twice. Again, I think there’s documentary value in preserving such a list. I’ve included a link to George Aguilar’s fascinating account of his involvement with the Poetry Film Festival/Cin(E)-Poetry Festival in San Francisco, which deserves special mention as the world’s first annual poetry film festival, running from 1975 to 1998. The continued popularity of Aguilar’s coinage cin(e)poetry or cinepoetry attests to its influence, especially on college campuses where compilations from the festival were often screened.

Two-part interview with “ambassador of cinepoetry” George Aguilar in the Atticus Review

This is not to be missed: Matt Mullins interviews George Aguilar at Atticus Review: Part 1 and Part 2. From Part 1, here’s Aguilar’s take on what makes a compelling videopoem:

The core elements I find most compelling are works that are multi-layered both visually and poetically. They usually feel experimental yet are supported by an expert sense of editing, sound, timing and tone. These types of works draw me in deeply and often leave me wondering what I just saw but also wanting to see it again. Sometimes I don’t get the full meaning of the work until after I’ve watched it a few dozen times. Even then, I still might feel there is something else new to catch the next time I see it. Of course the viewing of it over and over again feels “joyous” even though it hasn’t changed. Isn’t that the essence of the poetic? I also enjoy works that exude a sense of passion and inspiration, whether it is dark or light-hearted.

The breadth and depth of Aguilar’s understanding of cinepoetry/videopoetry and its historical origins are impressive. I’ll be sure to share some of the films he recommends at Moving Poems in the coming weeks.