Through a Lens, Brightly

Now that this week’s Jericho Tavern extravaganza is over and I have a lull before next week’s Derwent Poetry Festival, I wanted to take the opportunity to catch up on a couple of belated posts.

A few weeks ago Matthew Stewart released a film version of Tasting Notes, his short pamphlet of wine-poems. I loved the original (reviewed here), so the idea of a professionally-produced film was more-than-a-little intriguing.

Poetry films can be very good or laughably bad. For every Night Mail (the Auden/GPO version) or V, there’s an art school “words and images” disaster (the kind that strains so hard to be profound that you get a sympathy hernia just watching it). And since our wider culture struggles with poetry full-stop – let alone poetry intruding on the natural medium of popcorn and CGI – it must take a certain bravery to release a film of your own poems.

So credit to Matthew Stewart for producing a smart, funny, understated and rather wonderful short film. Although poetry and wine are both subjects booby-trapped with pretension, there’s no trace of pretension in these life-affirming poems.

I could waste your time describing it, but the film is 4 minutes long and you can watch it here – so I suggest you stop reading this blog and watch Tasting Notes instead.

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