CINEMA PLUS

Poetry in motion

Two friends caught in a quagmire of envy, in a British setting from the 50s; depicted through poetry, narrated in a visual form. Resounding in the background, is a careful rendition of the poem that runs along with the scenes. A visual poem — they call it.

For 20-year-old city-based filmmaker, Kevin Shadrach, visual poems are a way to “visualise what goes on inside my head”. His second visual poem, My Dear Friend, which has won a number of accolades including an official selection at Le Petit Cannes, a festival parallel to the 71st Festival de Cannes, 2018, is all set to release on YouTube, bringing this relatively unheard-of genre that marries poetry and visual media, once again into the spotlight.

“I write fictional poems and I have seen that whenever I give someone my poems to read, they are lazy to read it. But something that is watchable captures people’s attention instantly. That is the whole idea,” says Kevin whose debut visual poem titled Masculine Malnutrition, talks of the protagonist’s struggles in dealing with his own sexuality.

Poetry in motion

The young filmmaker, who is a third-year Visual Communications student at Loyola College, while researching the genre, could not find anything that was remotely like what was on his mind.

My Dear Friend, his second attempt, thus traces the journey of two friends, F1 and F2 who are inseparable, until one of them climbs the ladder of success leaving the other riddled with jealousy. The narration follows the character arc of the latter.

It is a project that follows thorough characterisations, says Kevin who wrote the poem during his holidays after school. “Black and white really speak to me. So I wanted to set the poem in the medieval period,” says the artist adding that when he first wrote the poem, it followed a subjective, third person’s point of view. “The soul of the characters, and their backgrounds struck me later, only after completing the poem.”

After that, the production followed organically. The idea of betrayal and jealousy in friendship, is what struck Kevin first, which later bloomed into a poem. “The second thought was about the setting: when and where I can establish this relationship, then the visuals followed,” the director says, explaining his creative process.

The music by Aruldev plays a pertinent role — a sombre montone filled with drama.

Harish Kumar, who played F1 elaborates on the importance of the sound track, “Both of us love string instruments, thanks to Game of Thrones, and Kevin wanted minimal music. We also thought the music shouldn’t be just in the background, but also should contribute to the story.”

My Dear Friend by Kunst Von Drach productions will be releasing on YouTube on February 1 at 6.30 pm.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 4:51:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-cinemaplus/my-dear-friend-visual-poem/article26137884.ece

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