Friday, February 19, 2010

In the comments stream yesterday, Steve Fama noted that his favorite videopoem was Bruce Conner’s 5:10 to Dreamland. You can’t find that on the web, as such, because Conner worked hard to prevent his work from turning up there. Mark Charles Brown’s Erasing Dreamland, however, is a film that “uses” Conner’s film in its entirety – it’s the left side of this dyptich. On the YouTube site, Fama notes that Conner had no problem with this usage or its appearance on the web. Patrick Gleeson, whose music scores both films, was somebody I used to run into around SF State & the Haight circa 1967 – he’s probably the guy who made me realize that music could be electronic & free form.

My own favorite videopoem would be Frank Film by Frank & Caroline Mouris, which can be viewed on the Ubu website by clicking that link. Frank Film is also my nomination as the best film ever to win an Oscar. It is, I should note, a dramatic monolog (and much more).

I doubt either Conner or the Mouris’ had the idea of videopoetry in mind when they created these. I doubt the word "video" was in their heads at all, in fact. That’s a whole other discussion.