Monday, July 14, 2008

Two poems by Stefania Irene Marthakis

from A Filmmaker’s Handbook

Red breath

My legs, the actress cries in despair, they are so very strange. Cut to three lines on a shoulder or expectation. Cut to an organ of the body not instrument falls. Falls into the stomach or where you don’t consider her. The color red plays to herself in the mirror. Arrives as loops we are caught in. Pull through clay. Red is a color you dig through. Name six things that repeat. Railroad tracks lay down and convenient chains increase traffic, make it harder to get around town. The French suggest long shots in a cramped apartment. Birds offer brightly colored flowers and beetle shells. The actor rolls a cigarette. She watches his hands. He pulls at his chin in the mirror. He feels old. She says, I love you or I need a ladder. No large movements made. The film should end. In a town she has never been or the actress looks directly into the camera.

Stranger in Vacationland

The new town was placed in the film before we arrived in the actual new town. The similarities astounded. A chance for happiness. With arriving the director opened up a notebook from years earlier. I write from notes she said I do everything from notes. Then she realized how large. A field and yes there were still stars up there. Enough shots of the actress arriving and leaving as singular. For the first time the director saw arriving as two. The camera work had become overwhelming. As seen from a car. Blue and green. Blue and green. Two eagles a good sign. But what of all this rain. Too many props and no baby in this scene. The actor said lightening will usually do you in. The cast looked for clues in their stomachs and in junkyards. The director’s films had connecting themes. Could we have built from there? An unfortunate deer twitched on the highway. And we never order any mannequins for this film. I ordered them three years ago. I say get Blondie on the phone. Tell him I still feel lucky and meet me at the diner. He knows which one. I have heard new ideas on building.

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