Shakespeare Sonnet 81

Date: 2008
Posted by: froj2002
Cast: none
Credits: Made by froj2002
Duration: 1.36

How many ways do we have to approaching the task of translating Shakespeare into moving images? Ways without number, I hope. So we introduce a new category to BardBox with Typography, which filmmakers visualise the words themselves. Here we have a creative expression of sonnet 81, “Or I shall live your epitaph to make”. The words are expressed at readable pace through a mixture of hard-made by, text placed over objects (the word ‘epitaph’ on a gravestone) and text created out of natural objects (writing on a steamy mirror). Overlaid by a breathy music track with delicate piano and deft timing (note the lingering of the final word “men”), the result is hynoptic and, yes, poetic. Certainly it’s a method that encourages us literally to see the text, and it’s a means of creating expressive Shakespeare content that anyone with the passion to do so can do cheaply, easily, and without players.

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  1. I’d want to connect the visual wordplay in this and the other “animated typography” videos to several historical traditions:

    — concrete poetry
    — Lettrism, Dada, and some of those early Surrealis film experiments with words on screen)
    — intertitling

    I don’t mean to suggest direct influence, just that the creative play with words on screen has a history and a set of formal features that regularly propose themselves for manipulation.

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