“The Cinema of Poetry”, by Rosa Maria Martelo


Conversas / Masterclasses


What can two so apparently different art forms such as poetry and cinema have in common? In the early 20th century, some poets and directors claimed there was a lot that they had in common. Consider, for example, Guillaume Apollinaire and Jean Epstein. Poetry and cinema both work with images, albeit in different ways. And they can share ideas of editing, or the capacity to expose the “photogenic” and the movement of the world. Or of expressing our experience of time through images. Perhaps it all started with Rimbaud, who saw poetry as a hallucinatory vision, a filmofanic possibility, some sort of decentralized free vision. ‘Cinema draws from painting the latent action of movement, of a route. Take a poem: there is no difference”, Herberto Helder was to write in the 70’s. Of course there are many differences, because to start with there isn’t just one cinema, much as there isn’t just one poetry. But the affinities are there, and we can discuss them.

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