The day after Dan Sickles premiered his documentary “Mala Mala” in Puerto Rico, the filmmaker went back to work on a short film for nonprofit film company Motionpoems. One of the world’s leading producers of poetry movies, the 6-year-old organization teams world-class American poems with top film talents to broaden the audience for poetry by turning great contemporary poems into short films for big-screen and online distribution.
Sickles’ finished product above turns Melissa Studdard’s 2010 poem “I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast” into a gorgeous assembling of dense natural landscapes from Aguas Buenas and surrounding towns outside of San Juan. Think Terrence Malick by way of Puerto Rico.
“My way into this poem was an experiential familiarity. It’s an articulation of a moment of utter presence, where a mundane, everyday activity provides a portal to divine contact,” said Sickles. “The poem is elemental, and speaks of nature, life, and death. I wanted to aid in an ethereal, celestial experience of Melissa’s words through film, to inspire a feeling rather than provide a literal interpretation.”
The short film will screen at The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis during a motion poem event on May 21.