Another approach to Literature and Film

For Part 4, many of us think of linking longer works such as novels to feature films.  However, another imaginative and productive approach might be this one, suggested by a workshop participant: poetry and short videos.

YouTube, in particular, provides many options for creating this kind of linkage.  For example, you might want to create an anthology of poems about animals as one of your works. Blake’s ‘The Tyger’ always seems a success with students with its mysterious tone and hypnotic rhythm.  I have long admired the Brazilian animation by Guilherme Marcondes which offers a provocative version with a fantasy adaptation of the poem. Although this short film may be rather distant from the original poem, it should provoke some interesting discussion.  One might set this  version next to a virtual movie of Blake reading the poem  or the 3-D animation, both of which are easily found under the name of the poet and the poem. And your students are likely to be able to expand the range of offerings, or even to produce their own.

Ted Hughes’ ‘The Thought Fox’ has inspired several interesting filmic representations of the poem, one of them entirely without words.  I found at least 3 of these that I thought would play off each other in interesting ways, and provide avenues into the poem.  His Crow poems have also inspired some interesting versions.

Obviously, there are many more directions in which to go, both with poems in English and in translation. Taking advantage of another feature of Part 4, using works in translation, affords even wider opportunities.   What about poems by Neruda or Szymborska?  The former’s ‘Ode al Gatto’ is offered in several versions in Spanish which can lead into some very interesting discussion about translation. (Or the new documentary, Kedi, a documentary about the cats of Istanbul, as another companion piece). One could  even widen  the circle by looking at the oratorio, Canto General?  Here the poem ‘Algunas Bestias’ (‘Some Beasts’) can be seen and heard, also on YouTube.

And I invite all who read the post to add other suggestions in their comments.

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