The “Emerging Genre” of the Cinematic Poem Short Film is an important evolution in the history of HD Film and Video. These unique short films will be generally:
- 5-minutes or less in duration;
- Original Footage, or Animation, Shot with High Definition (HD) technology;
- Scored with an original, classical or orchestrated musical piece;
- Original Recording/Interview or Professional Narration from an original and/or written work of prose or poetry.
A young director, James W. Griffiths, has produced two masterful, recent Cinematic Poem Short Films since 2012:
“We Were Wanderers On A Prehistoric Earth” (2012);
and “A Solitary World” (2014).
The original Cinematic Poem Short Film may be the 2006 HD Movie Trailer for “The Fountain”, spectacularly edited from the feature film directed by Darren Aronofsky. The film blends elements of fantasy, history, religion, and science fiction:
In 2011, Director Terrence Malick chronicled the origins and meaning of life by way of a middle-aged man’s childhood memories of his family living in 1950s Texas with his epic experimental drama “The Tree Of Life”. The theatrical trailer is a stunning example of a Cinematic Poem Short Film:
Cinematic Poem Short Films can also be sourced to the “Abstract Film” from director Ron Fricke, “Chronos”, released in IMAX theaters in 1985. The trailer can be viewed below:
The filmmaking duo of Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson further developed the Cinematic Poem with two visually stunning films. First, the digitally remastered theatrical film trailer of the movie “Baraka” (1992):
The second Fricke-Magidson film was “Samsara”. The beautiful theatrical trailer can be seen below:
The origins of short film poems can be traced to the “golden age of American animation” which began with sound cartoons in 1928 and continued into the 1960’s.
The Tell-Tale Heart was a 1953 American animated short film directed by Ted Parmelee and narrated by James Mason. The screenplay by Bill Scott and Fred Grable is based on the 1843 short story by Edgar Allan Poe:
In 1962, Ray Bradbury and George Clayton Johnson adapted Ray’s short story “Icarus Montgolfier Wright” into a screenplay for an animated short. Animation studio Format Films produced the film. Joseph Mugnaini created the artwork for the 18-minute film:
In 1967, Simon Gribben was a film writer/editor for Tel Ra Productions in Philadelphia making syndicated American Football League highlights. He produced “The Raven”, a “Parody Poem” based on the poem by Edgar Allan Poe, which was narrated by the NFL game announcer Charlie Jones, as an audition piece for NFL Films, where he was hired. Watch the film here:
In 1999, the Cinematic Poem Short Film further evolved when “The Periwig-Maker”, a cinematic narrated stop motion animation short film based on the novel, “A Journal of the Plague Year”, written by Daniel Defoe, was released . It received a 2000 BAFTA-award for Best Animated Short and was nominated for Best Animated Short Film at the 2001 Academy Awards. The film was produced by Ideal Standard film, directed by Steffen Schäffler and narrated by Kenneth Branagh:
CinematicPoems.com will continue to update the history of the genre in the coming months.
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