Muirburn and The Desktop Metaphor


Rituals, deep earth connections and strong memories are for me the themes of this poem. First I went to film close ups of eyes, I went to an optician and filmed an eye through their machine which gives a very strange effect. The eyes in the film symbolizes the deeper inner feelings that have a strong connection with memories which is a big part of the poem. I wanted to make a combination of black & white photography and film, so you can feel the memory through the film as well as through the poem. — Helmie Stil

The main idea was to focus visual on the scanner, I’ve filmed different angles of the lights of the scanner. And because the poem is readable in different ways I was thinking of doing something with a split screen. So, on one side of the screen you see the light of the scanner, scanning, and on the other screen you see what’s been scanned. I’ve scanned many things that you can’t name and some you can. What I felt in the poem is the emptiness of life, the feeling we should always put names on things instead of just feeling it, that we make things very important while there are many more important things in life. So, the scanner is symbolizing our life, scanning through it. The scans are representing the things we put/are “important” in our lives, like the Great Stapler. I was very surprised and pleased to see what you can do with the scanner visually. An isolation of life, scanning through it. — Helmie Stil


About Author


Helmie Stil is a Dutch award-winning filmmaker living and working in the UK. After graduating at the Utrecht School of Arts she has been researching, directing and producing her own films since 2006. She loves making poetic documentaries and film poems. Her award winning documentaries and film poems have been shown on national television and international film festivals. Her film The Desktop Metaphor won the Weimar Poetry Film Award 2018. Her film poem "The Opened Field" won the Cadence Video Poetry Festival 2019 Award, the Reelpoetry Houston award and was selected for many international festivals and shortlisted for the prestigious OutSpoken Prize for Poetry 2019. Her latest film poem 'Muirburn' was selected for Fotogenia. Helmie produced the film 'Do not indulge indigo' made by visual artist James W Norton and premiered during National Poetry Day 2019. She is the director and founder of poetrycinema - films inspired by poetry.

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