What: 5 collaborations on video between poets and filmmakers
Who: Grace Taylor and Ursula Grace; Serie Barford and Anna Marbrook; Murray Edmond and Luke McPake; Hera Lindsay Bird and Luke McPake; and Mark Mitchenson (performing Allen Curnow) with Adam Jones.
Going West has a long involvement in poetry. Every year our live festival has a keen poetry line-up, and since 2011 all our opening nights have featured the Curnow Poetry Reader, a regular slot in honour of our friend, the justly famous Allen Curnow. And for even longer than that, we’ve hosted one of the most prominent slams in Aotearoa.
Now, in this stay-at-home world of pandemic alert levels, we’ve embarked on a new way of doing poetry. We’ve commissioned some of the best poets of Aotearoa to create original work in collaboration with some of our finest screen artists. We’re super proud to be commissioning new work to add to the canon of Aotearoa poetry, and our sneak-peaks at the work in progress has literally put a tear in our eye.
These aren’t video recordings of poets reading their work (although there’d be nothing wrong with that). A better description would be poetry based music videos, but that’s not it either. Four of these are true collaborations, in which poets and filmmakers have worked together to develop integrated pieces, where the words and pictures depend on each other for their fullest meaning.
So bookmark this page. Because throughout April we’ll be screening – right here – collaborations between poet Grace Taylor and director Ursula Grace; poet Hera Lindsay Bird and director Luke McPake; poet Murray Edmond and director Luke McPake; and poet Serie Barford and director Anna Marbrook.
And we’ll also bring to this screen an original production of Allen Curnow’s classic, existential, west Auckland treatise, Lone Kauri Road, in a collaboration between director Adam Jones and westy actor, Mark Mitchenson.
Everything is different this year, and Going West is no exception. Different Out Loud is our celebration of doing things differently. And, because we know how much our audience loves coming to Titirangi, perched high in the Waitākere ranges, we decided to connect all these video-poems to this place in some way. So, other than animation and studio sequences, all the location shots in these works are shot somewhere in the Waitākere Ranges Local Board area (and we thank the Board and Auckland Council for their support of this project).