Tag Archives: New York City

“New York, still”: A Cinematic Poem Short Film Directed By Bram VanderMark (2020)

“New York, still” is a Cinematic Poem Short Film Directed by Bram VanderMark.

Filmed, Edited and Directed by: Bram VanderMark

Sound Design/Mix: Christian Stropko
Grade: Jacob McKee
Voice Over: Phyllis Lampkin
Script: Elizabeth Moore
Special Thanks: Austin Prahl

A meditation on the beauty that has emerged and remained in New York, when many thought the city’s spirit had all but disappeared.

New York, still
listening to the
hushed softness
of the morning

Not quite noiseless, but
echoing with the elements
of what used to be

Still moving,
and a little unsure
how to breathe
without stopping
to catch our breaths

Still nothing
without the beating hearts
that call this
motley metropolis
molded into neighborhoods
of concrete and iron

Still healing,
and becoming gentle
Embracing that we are soft
and made of skin
with velvet
in every breath

Still singing,
the collective shout of
“We’re still here!”
to the listeners,
the lingerers,
the laborers,
the lonely lovers
who have no choice
but to stay
and to witness
how loneliness keeps us

After the listening,
and the moving,
and the nothing,
and the healing,
and the singing,

New York, still


“In Between Words”: A Cinematic Poem Short Film In New York City By Sheldon Chau (2018)

“In Between Worlds” is a Cinematic Poem Short Film In New York City Featuring Poet Lilian Mehrei Directed by Sheldon Chau.

Filmed, Edited and Directed by: Sheldon Chau

Music Composed by: John Corlis
Piano: John Corlis
Violin: Gustavo Eiriz
Actress: Achiaa Prempeh
Narrated by: Achiaa Prempeh

“A woman looks for her place in New York City as she contemplates the meaning of “home.”

The City Odes Project is a passion project in which my composer and I will collaborate with a poet and an actor to create a humanist, emotional, and visual story amidst the backdrop of a particularly city. “In Between Words” is the first of many to come, and kicks off this series in the city I currently reside in – New York City. The narrative was birthed out of an eagerness to collaborate with Achiaa, my actress, who now lives in New York and is originally from Ghana. In speaking with her, I decided to pursue a story about someone searching for home; a woman who is figuring out if NYC is the place for her, who is coming to terms that she is 5,000 miles away from her original home in West Africa, and thus easing out tensions with her mother, who of course wants her to return. The final result here features the work of Lilian Mehrel – a fellow filmmaker and classmate of mine back at NYU Grad Film school – who captures these feelings through her words, and my frequent collaborator John Corlis – an LA-based musician and composer – who complements the poetry with his mixture of piano and strings.”

“In Between Words” by Lilian Mehrei

Where am I?
Check the map. What’s a map, anyway? 
An alphabet. 
Spelling out spaces
In between words.

When you carve lines in a concrete jungle,
The dust particles remain. They stain
The people with grit
Glittering their teeth.

When I was little, my mother told me
My great-grandfather was the head of our tribe.
What’s a tribe? I asked.
He was like the king of our village, she told me.
Are you the queen now? I asked.

Yes Queen, says a handsome woman walking by.

Excuse me, do you know which way is north?
I squint up at the scrapers of the sky. 
They look down at their fireflies.

My eyes blink for a rest. I need to go
I enter the arteries 
To flow with bodies as one.
Noon or midnight, there is no time here.

I balance, suspended halfway 
Between North and South.
There is no fullness,
There is no stillness.

I cross the street. I cross my heart.
I cross my mother, one too many times.
Why don’t you come home? She says.
What is home? I say.
There are too many people there, she says.
There’s nobody to bother me, I say.

When it’s too much
I slip in the small spaces.

Can you find me on a map?
Look, there – that eyelash that fell,
Between 6th and 7th avenue, that’s me.

Where are you? My mother calls me.
I’m on 6th and a half avenue, I say.

You don’t believe me?
Look on the map. It’s really there.

Website: http://www.sheldonchau.com/


“Ode To New York City”: A Cinematic Poem Short Film Featuring Walt Whitman Directed By Alessio Cuomo (2018)

“Ode To New York City” is a Cinematic Poem Short Film Featuring Walt Whitman Directed By Alessio Cuomo.

Directed & Edited by Alessio Cuomo

Ode To New York City Cinematic Poem Short Film Featuring Walt Whitman Directed By Alessio Cuomo 2018

Cinematography by Rene Koster
Creative Director – Marco Barneveld
Narrated by Eric Forsythe
Music by Joe Kraemer
Portraits of Immigrants – New York Public Library
Additional Footage courtesy – McKittrick Hotel

Ode To New York City Cinematic Poem Short Film Featuring Walt Whitman Directed By Alessio Cuomo 2018


“Travel magazine Wideoyster presents a poetry film about New York. Ode To New York by Walt Whitman. A poetry video we made for travel magazine WideOyster.
The poem Give Me The Splendid Silent Sun was published in 1865, but Whitmans sharp-witted observations of the city are, perhaps, even more relevant today than when the poem was written.

Walt loved New York. Even though at the time it was a tough city to live in. He felt energized instead of overwhelmed by its constant motion, heard music instead of madness, and saw humanity instead of strangeness in its crowds.”

Ode To New York City Cinematic Poem Short Film Featuring Walt Whitman Directed By Alessio Cuomo 2018

GIVE me the splendid silent sun, with all his beams full-
Give me juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red from the 
Give me a field where the unmow’d grass grows;
Give me an arbor, give me the trellis’d grape;
Give me fresh corn and wheat—give me serene-moving 
animals, teaching content;
Give me nights perfectly quiet, as on high plateaus west 
of the Mississippi, and I looking up at the stars;
Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers, 
where I can walk undisturb’d;
Give me for marriage a sweet-breath’d woman, of whom 
I should never tire;
Give me a perfect child—give me, away, aside from the 
noise of the world, a rural domestic life;
Give me to warble spontaneous songs, reliev’d, recluse 
by myself, for my own ears only;
Give me solitude—give me Nature—give me again, 
O Nature, your primal sanities!
—These, demanding to have them, (tired with ceaseless 
excitement, and rack’d by the war-strife;)
These to procure, incessantly asking, rising in cries from 
my heart,
While yet incessantly asking, still I adhere to my city;
Day upon day, and year upon year, O city, walking 
your streets,
Where you hold me enchain’d a certain time, refusing 
to give me up;
Yet giving to make me glutted, enrich’d of soul—you 
give me forever faces;


Article on film: http://www.wideoyster.nl/magazine3-eng/new-york-city/

Ode To New York City Cinematic Poem Short Film Featuring Walt Whitman Directed By Alessio Cuomo 2018

Website: https://www.alessiocuomo.com/

“The Call”: A Cinematic Poem Short Film Directed By Luc Braquet (2016)

“The Call” is a Cinematic Poem Short Film Featuring Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” Directed by Luc Braquet.

Filmed, Edited and Directed by:  Luc Braquet

Actress:  Sofia Fanego

The Call Cinematic Poem Short Film Directed by Luc Braquet in 2016

From French Vogue:

“A romantic New York in which the model, Sofia Fanego, dances, moves and wanders through the city, set to an expressive rendition of the poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou.”


The Call Cinematic Poem Short Film Directed in 2016 by Luc Braquet

“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.        

The Call Cinematic Poem Short Film Directed by Luc Braquet


“Fifth Avenue”: A Cinematic Poem Short Film With Exiled Pakistani Poet Hasan Mujtaba Directed By Sofian Khan (2015)

“Fifth Avenue” is a Cinematic Poem Short Film Featuring Exiled Pakistani Poet Hasan Mujtaba Directed By Sofian Khan.

Directed by:  Sofian Khan 

Original Musical Score by:  Joshua Green

Cinematography by:  Bob Blankemeier

Produced by:  Capital K Pictures

Fifth Avenue A Cinematic Poem Short Film Featuring Poet Hasan Mujtaba Directed by Sofian Khan 2015

Additional Film Footage by:  Madiha Aijaz

Sound and Mix by:  Evan Manners

Trumpet Player:  John Lake

“The poem “Fifth Avenue” is part of Hasan’s recently published collection of  Urdu and Punjabi poetry. Koel Shehr Ki Katha, released this year by Saanjh Publications Lahore, Pakistan.

The poem recounts one summer day when, sitting on 5th avenue in Manhattan, Hasan witnessed a parade of Hare Krishna devotees making their way down the avenue.  Amongst them, he saw a man who looked like Allen Ginsberg — one of Hasan’s favorite American poets.  Though it was not him, the sight of this lookalike gave Hasan an important thought.  If this American poet once journeyed to India in search of inspiration, why could Hasan, a Pakistani, not come to America and likewise find some spark of beauty to write from.  Hence began his journey to create this singular collection of poetry that fuses his new home with images of that which he left behind.”

Fifth Avenue A Cinematic Poem Short Film Featuring Poet Hasan Mujtaba Directed by Sofian Khan

Excerpts from “Koel Shehr Ki Katha/Tale Of A Cuckoo’s City” by Hasan Mujtaba

(English translation by Manan Ahmed)

Amid the crowd of Hare Krishnas,

an old man who looked like Allen Ginsberg

Amid the riot of saffron color

the cymbals, the drums

whites, blacks, and rainbow colors

in June’s silvery light

silent, alone,


as if he was the exclamation point of this whole philosophy

In the walking crowds of Fifth Avenue

I, a lost child

He, an old man who looked like Allen Ginsberg

Holding his thought’s fingers,

I walked far away

far to the lanes of Sehwan

“in public, I dance”

It seems a vision from a dream.

I take Fifth Avenue

I take the lane of Sehwan

Written on the shores of Indus, I take all of Rig Veda

I take Qur’an

I reject Chagai

I refute Pokhran

I deny the whole of Aurangzeb’s creations.


when I sing

songs of my exile

I return to my self

But they speak back to me

in the language of bullets

they do not read

what is written on the walls

“A donkey pisses on the General’s Uniform”

Those blood soaked lanes of Delhi

that naked Sarmad

Now your Gaze

Soils the purity of the Holiest, the Righteous

That woman inside me

These vines of grapes

That moon over Hudson

This silvery dusk over Indus

descends like revelation on a Prophet.

Fifth Avenue A Cinematic Poem Short Film on Poet Hasan Mujtaba Directed by Sofian Khan 2015

Article on the film:  http://thewire.in/2015/09/14/video-seeing-the-universe-in-the-sands-of-fifth-avenue-10672/

Website: http://www.capitalkpictures.com/

“New York City”: A Cinematic Time-Lapse Music Short Film Produced By Stimul (2011)

“New York City” is a cinematic time-lapse short film featuring Beethoven’s 9th Symphony produced by Stimul of Fribourg, Switzerland.

Directed by:  Alexandre Favre, Pierre Dumont and David Mignot

Produced by:   Stimul Interactive Agency

Music Composed by:  Ludwig Von Beethoven (9th Symphony)

Website:  http://www.stimul.ch/

“NEW BEGINNINGS”: A Cinematic Promotional Short Film Featuring New York City Ballet Directed By Davi Russo (2013)

“NEW BEGINNINGS” is a cinematic promotional short film for the
New York City Ballet productions that opened on September 12, 2013. Filmed at sunrise on the 57th floor of 4WTC in lower Manhattan, this short film directed by Davi Russo captures an extraordinary and moving performance of Christopher Wheeldon’s “After the Rain”.

Directed by:  Davi Russo

Music Composed by:  Avro Part (“Spiegel Im Spiegel”)

Choreography by:  Christopher Wheeldon (“After the Rain”)

NEW BEGINNINGS NYC Ballet Cinematic Short Film 2013

Dancers:   Maria Kowroski &  Ask la Cour

Edited by Tim Zeigler
Produced by Radical Media
Executive Produced by Gregg Carlesimo
Executive Produced by Maya Brewster
Produced by Logan Luchsinger

It is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and a tribute to the future of the city that New York City Ballet calls home. #newbeginnings

Developed in collaboration with DDB New York
© 2013 New York City Ballet, Inc.