In the pure essence of late night delirium, here is a list of personal favorites, all mediums mixed, of poetic spaces and places ;
(no. 1) Eiko & Koma ; choreographers/dancers.
I saw them once in New Mexico; they did the most amazing ode to humanity I have ever seen in dance form. Springs and winters went by us as we stood in absolute silence ; the piece was long, and slow beyond anything comprehensible. They made that slowness their mantra, deconstructing each movement until it was nothing but a breath; it could easily take them a minute to balance their arm from left to right. In all this, I saw more than I ever had before, on love and silence, on hope and pain. Truly brilliant. http://www.eikoandkoma.org/ (Photo by Cameron Wittig for Walker Art Center).
(no. 2) Touch The Sound ; a film by Thomas Riedelsheimer.
'Touch the Sound' was directed by the same filmmaker who did Rivers & Tides, on land artist Andy Goldsworthy. This piece is about British drummer Evelyn Glennie, who brings us into a journey of sound where resonance matters more than actually noise. As Glennie cannot hear, her music comes to her from feeling it, in the truest sense of the verb. Shot with incredible stillness and emotion, there are many beautiful scenes where light, smoke and simple beats fill the screen and our spirit in a dimension that goes beyond anything sonic.
(no. 3) Foolish Love ; a song by Rufus Wainwright
Simply beautiful. Rufus, who has gone on doing operas, writing music for film and hanging out with Yoko Ono (and doing millions of other wildly exciting projects I am sure), wrote this just about the time he got famous, at least here in his hometown of Montreal. It remains to me the most beautiful cinematic cherry blossom-y piece of music. It stars as Track 1 on his debut, self-titled album of 1998. I am attaching it to this post. Enjoy :)
(no 4.) Rimbaud, bien sûr
My childhood hero, king of the surreal verse and emperor of the epic lifestyle he led amongst the pristine poets of France, mid 1800s. I have never read his work in English - I sure hope it was well translated - but in the meantime, there is one film that was done about him, and that I would recommand seeing. It may come as a surprise, but it stars Leonardo Di Caprio as Rimbaud (and being French, I'd tell you if it was shocking, but it's actually not), and the wonderful David Thewlis as Verlaine. (As a side note, Thewlis was recently seen in Harry Potter as the werewolf professor Remus Lupin.) The film was done in 1995 by Agnieszka Holland, and is called 'Total Eclipse'. It can be found at most semi-alternative video rental stores, or on the ever popular Netflix. That being said, it is a beautiful, sad, funny, shocking and truly inspiring piece of cinematic art.
(no.5) Last but not least : L'Homme qui Plantait des Arbres
Animation film who won the Oscar for best Animated Short in 1987, L'Homme qui Plantait des Arbres is based on a very short story written in the 1950s by French author Jean Giono, on a fictional character of 'the man who planted trees'. The film had a huge following on a world scale, and many societies and organizations for tree planting were creating after it was released. I had the honor and privilege to meet M. Frederic Back, the director and artist behind every image of the film, today 85 years old, but still very much alive with the same passion for saving our delicate ecology. I am attaching to this blog an excerpt of the piece, in Portuguese ! I could not find any YouTube video in French ... obviously, the images matter most. Potentially the most influential film in environmental history.