I Stand Alone by The Devils, and other poems on films
Broken Sleep Books : June 31st 2019
33 pages / £5
26 new poems celebrating 26 cult films of the 20th and 21st century, I Stand Alone by The Devils is a slim volume of cinematic poetic ekphrasis. At play is an aberrant intersemiotic translation between the mediums of popular or arthouse cinema and contemporary, modernist poetry. The poems aim to re-imagine moving image in language, often cutting in tone, taking on the dark, symbolic and sardonic on film. Each poem is a single film, interpreting, reflecting, embodying and transposing, exploring both films familiar to many, and digging out, often from 20th century European cinema, more unorthodox motion pictures. From Querelle and The Baby of Mâcon, to American Werewolf in London and Don’t Look Now. From Aguirre and Festen to The Fly and Breaking the Waves, these poems are a strange and playful musing on cinema’s impact on poetry and language and a useless thinking through of how films are actually consumed.
“These are poems that stare out into our staring, each line drops itself - to break a glass darkly read and seen in warning. The films chosen by SJ Fowler prickle with the same discomfort that animates each poem. ‘This is the face you make when you realise. ’ The cut and tease of a provocateur’s lovingly cracked lens, unreeling in the questions that illuminate best when sitting, unsettled, in the dark.” David Spittle
A full list of films featured - Angel Heart, Querelle, Last Year at Marienbad, Ali : Fear Eats The Soul, The Fly, The Devils, Breaking the Waves, American Werewolf in London, Don’t Look Now, I Stand Alone, A short film about Love, En Coeur En Hiver, The Baby of Mâcon, Nightwatch (Nattevagten), Silence of the Lambs, Satan’s Brew, Aguirre, wrath of god, The Long Good Friday, Stalker, Salo, Festen, Three Colours Blue, Yojimbo, Possession, Beau Travail, M.
Published : 3 cinema poems on Anthropocene August 27, 2019
Coinciding with the release of my new slimline poetry publication I Stand Alone by The Devils and other poems on films, out now from Broken Sleep Books, three poems from the volume have been published on Charlie Baylis’ new online journal, which is shaping up beautifully. The poems are The Baby of Macon, Satan’s Brew and Nightwatch, and they give a taste of what the booklet is about.
LAUNCH : August Thursday 29th 2019 at the Cinema Museum, London, alongside a screening of Peter Greenaway’s The Baby of Mâcon
A note on : launching my cinema poems book at the cinema museum of all places Oo i made a little doc with the reading footages i did this night, have a watch above. - This was a strange and balmy and beautifully weird night. The venue of the cinema museum is unreal. Truly astonishing, huge, idiosyncratic, architecturally stunning. As ever with launch events it was a small audience of close friends and a few people I didn’t know. All this hidden behind Elephant roundabout. I enjoyed reading this poems though, they are not ugly in my mouth.
I adore peter greenaways work but i shouldve watched the pillow book before i screened it to basically a room of my mates. it has not brought the 90s with it into the present. / Do visit http://www.cinemamuseum.org.uk/
A note on : an interview with Charlie Baylis (discussing I stand alone by the devils)
How would you define the relationship between poetry and film? Depends on our definition of the former. If its just a word used as a metaphor and not a concrete artform then whatever anyone wants. If poetry is an actual thing that operates on and through language for spmething other than direct info or emotional confession then the relationship is scant. Film can utilise a kind of poetic cinematic grammar which is very exciting and poetry can explore image realisation without realism. There are filmmaker poets all over but its all a bit tenuous. (September 9, 2019 https://theimportanceofbeingaloof.tumblr.com/)