James W. Norton Showcase

We are showcasing James W Norton’s poetry-film work this month – Filmpoem’s long term cinematographer. These are our favourites, where James works beyond the usual team of Alastair and Luca with other collaborators and partners.

Here are four of our favourites, all widely screened and admired.

“The Grey Mirror” – a collaboration between The Poetry Society Filmpoem and poet Laura Scott – The film is a meditation on the lasting memory of a place. It evokes the atmosphere of the poems setting as a shifting, brooding and enigmatic house bordering on a landscape by the sea inhabited by fragments of its past. Laura’s poem offered me a window into her world that was visceral and visually balanced between the past and present.

“Do not indulge indigo” – in collaboration between The Poetry Society, Poetry Cinema and Motion Poems, James created a visual response to Katie Griffiths’s second prize winning poem in the 2018 National Poetry Competition, featuring a reading of ‘Do not indulge indigo’ from the poet herself. James notes The film is both a warning and a celebration, an indulgence into the many identities the word ‘indigo’ holds in the poem. This multilayered filmic journey allows the poem’s threads to entwine together into a fantastical trip of transformation.

“Corkscrew Hill Photo” – a collaboration between The Poetry Society and Filmpoem, James responds to Roger Philip Dennis’ prize winning poem Corkscrew Hill Photo. The film explores the character and places that are suggested by the poems free flowing narrative. The film acts like a fragmented journey, following the character as she moves through her day in and out of the focus, passing through the long-shadow cast by the poems deeper meaning.

“After the Calm” – This film echoes the poems desires and secrets of our lives and the ruination and love that fold in and out of our relationships old and new. Just as the poem teeters on the edge of a supernatural landscape so the film glimpses at a world just beyond our own within an arms reach of our passing.