Appraisal (A poetry film)
Screened at FILMPOEM 2013 as part of the main programme, Dunbar, Scotland.
Selected for the CologneOFF IX – 9th Cologne International Videoart Festival
Selected for the 2013 VISIBLE VERSE FESTIVAL, Canada
A poetry film that explores ideas of alienation and personal identity in relation to others and by testing the limits within the self. Filmed in Ireland in 2013.
Images by Melissa Diem
Poem written and read by Melissa Diem
Sound production by Colm Slattery.
I tested what to do or not from strange lives passing swiftly
before me on a thirty-six inch screen or me before them
on a train travelling before curtains are drawn and after the lights flick on
to renovated kitchens viewed from the back, bird-tables, trampolines all gathering nets.
I tested my body – giving up food, and days I could sleep in multitudes,
pressing the pliable walls of my mind and scaffolds of thought to a fault-line.
I walked across the country with my eyes closed
like a kid trying on sizes pretending to be blind because you haven’t figured out
how to gauge the distance of your life against others.
Or like testing an ornament unbearably fragile you’ve been told not to touch
but you can’t stand the tension of not knowing
the exact measure of pressure it would take
to crush it
Published in The Stinging Fly 2010
Thank you Hanno :)
I was just so frank and Shared your work on my a Facebook Page.If you don’t mind.I really like it that much.
I’m delighted for you to share it Hanno. Thank you very much :)
You are very welcome.
Melissa, I really enjoyed this, particularly the transitions between the blurry trees and the static noise which serve to form an atmosphere that makes the entrance of your voice and poem more striking. Great! Nicky
Thanks so much Nicky. I’m really glad you like it. M
For me there’s a tension in it between a tentative sense of expansivesness/possibility in the words and images and the fragiliity which permeates that and resonates really well at the end. The grace and delicacy of the little girl is gorgeous
Thank you Valerie for your lovely words. I also love the little dancer’s look of concentration :)
Reblogged this on leonaleecully and commented:
Poetry film: Appraisal by Melissa Diem.
Thanks Leona! Hope life’s being good to you xx
I always find your films so stunning. I just love the atmosphere you manage to create. It is nervous and dreamlike.
Thank you so much, I really appreciate that :)
Wow, this is stunning, Melissa.
Thank you Kathy. I’m really glad you like it :)