I know, I know. I've written about documentaries a lot lately. But I promise -- this is the last one, at least for a little while. There's a film I watched during Hot Docs that I never mentioned, mainly because it was part of a retrospective and is a good twenty-seven years old -- Ron Mann's Poetry in Motion.
The film follows a large collection of North American poets performing their work in the early '80s, including: Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Amiri Baraka, John Cage, Michael Ondaatje, Anne Waldman, Jim Carroll, The Four Horsemen, and Tom Waits. The performances range from poetry set to music and given a rhythm, to sound poetry, to classic recitation. On their own, the pieces are an intensely interesting look at how performance can change poetry, as well as what the creative world was like almost 30 years ago. But they're also brought together by a collection of clips where a slightly drunk Charles Bukowski discusses poetry and creativity.
And thanks to the wonderful power of YouTube, I can share two of my favorite moments in the film. First is Bukowski at his blunt best, ravaging the idea of poetry. Second (after the jump), through the perfect light of the setting sun, Tom Waits performs "Smuggler's Waltz/Bronx Lullaby." But many of the performances are great, so if you love a little performed poetry, check it out.
Warning: This first clip is Charles Bukowski, so of course, that means NSFW.