In West Virginia (subtitled)
Dave Bonta's Haibun poem about an unexpected car breakdown in a small town, "In West Virginia," the second poem in his recent book, "Failed State," is the inspiration for Jack Cochran and Pamela Falkenberg's film poem, which finds arresting audio and visual correspondences among landscapes taken over by strip malls, strip mines, and strips of highways.
Text of the poem by Dave Bonta:
In West Virginia
Strip. Lay down your overburden, bare your black seam of heat where the shovels can reach it. Let groundwater tease your acids from the rock.
Strip: stripe of highway-side gas stations and inconvenience stores, chain restaurants, big box retailers and motels, each marooned on its own island of tarmac. Nobody calls this home, not even the natives.
Strip: supposedly comic, unmoving pictures starring the same faces, day after day. We grimace at the punchlines: Neighborhood Grill and Bar, says the Applebee’s sign. Oh, do let’s take a stroll ’round the Village Square!
With our car in the shop we navigate the strip on foot, automatic jaywalkers. The smell of fryer grease mingles with exhaust. Under one streetlight, we step carefully around the corpses of three starlings. Not for them this Mattress World, this Furniture City.
singing in the body
shop waiting room
Jesus loves her
Jack CochranEditing and sound design
Pamela FalkenbergProduction design
Project Type:Experimental, Short
Genres:poetry film, environmental film
Runtime:3 minutes 27 seconds
Completion Date:January 11, 2019
Country of Origin:United States
Country of Filming:United States
Shooting Format:4K digital video
Newlyn International Film FestivalBristol
April 6, 2019
Small Axe @Tolpuddle Radical Film FestivalTolpuddle
July 20, 2019
Buffalo International Film FestivalBuffalo, NY
October 13, 2019
North American Premiere
Lisbon Film RendezvousLisbon
October 4, 2019
Official selection, finalist
Pam is an independent filmmaker who received her PhD from the University of Iowa and taught at Northern Illinois University, St.Mary's College, and the University of Notre Dame. She directed the largest student film society in the US while she was at the University of Iowa, and also ran films series for the Snite Museum of Art in South Bend, IN. Her experimental film with Dan Curry, Open Territory, received an individual filmmaker grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as grants from the Center for New Television and the Indiana Arts Council. OT screened at the Pacific Film Archives, as well at numerous film festivals, including the AFI Video Festival, and was nominated for a regional Emmy. Her other films include museum installations, scholarly/academic hybrid works shown at film conferences, and a documentary commissioned by the Peace Institute at the University of Notre Dame.
Pam wants to make lots of different kinds of films with Jack, but she is especially proud to have been the one who suggested that Jack's poems should be made into films.
Jack is an independent filmmaker who has produced, directed, or shot a variety of experimental and personal projects. As a DP he has extensive experience shooting commercials, independent features, and documentaries. His varied commercial client list includes BMW, Ford, Nissan, Fujifilm, Iomega, Corum Watches, and Forte Hotels. His features and documentaries have shown at the Sundance, Raindance, Telluride, Tribeca, Edinburgh, Chicago, Houston, and Taos film Festivals, winning several honors. His commercials and documentaries have won Silver Lions from Cannes, a BAFTA (British Academy Award), Peabody Awards, and Cable Aces. Some notable credits: Director of Photography on Brian Griffin's Claustrofoamia, Cinematography for Antony Thomas’ Tank Man, Director/Cinematographer of Viento Nocturno, and Cinematographer of Ramin Niami’s feature film Paris. Jack was trained at the University of Iowa Creative Writers Workshop as well as the University of Iowa film studies program.
Jack has written poetry all his life, but he never knew what to do with it until he shared his notebooks with Pam, who said, "You're a filmmaker -- shouldn't your poems be films?"
About Outlier Moving Pictures:
Jack Cochran and Pam Falkenberg are making personal films together again under the name Outlier Moving Pictures. They hope their new films will be worthy of the name -- avoiding the usual patterns and approaching their subject matter from the margins (which sounds better than saying that as filmmakers they're oddballs and cranks). Pam and Jack met in graduate school and made films together when they were young. Jack went on to become a professional cinematographer working out of LA and London, while Pam stayed in the Midwest, where she was a college professor and independent filmmaker before dropping out to work in visual display. Their first film together, "The Cost of Living," based on some of Jack's short poems, screened at several film festivals, including the Buffalo International Film Festival and the Cornwall Film Festival, and took the award for best experimental film at the WV FILMmakers Festival in 2016. Other short poetry films have screened at the Ò Bhéal Poetry Film Festival (2016), the Juteback Poetry Film Festival (2017, 2018), the Festival Silencio (2017) , the Filmpoem Festival (2017), the 6th CYCLOP Videopoetry Festival (2017), and the 6th and 7th International Video Poetry Festival (Athens Greece, Jan. and Dec. 2018). Recently completed is a new film about the North Dakota landscape and Teddy Roosevelt, "Teddy Roosevelt and Fracking," which showed out-of-competition as a work-in-progress at the WV FILMmakers Fest in 2017 and premiered at the Queens World Film Festival in March 2018. Along with that, a series of shorts about photo opportunities and roadside attractions in Texas (the first installment of which, "Prada Marfa," premiered in the True Texas Travel category at the Thin Line Festival in April 2018), and some brief experimental romantic comedies based on Craigslist's Missed Connections, the compilation version of which screened at the Austin Spotlight Film Festival and the Kinodrome Festival in 2018. Just prior to "In West Virginia" were two poetry film collaborations with Lucy English,"The Shadow," and "The Names of Trees," for her Book of Hours project (http://thebookofhours.org/). In March 2019, their first film, "The Cost of Living," again takes the spotlight with a prestigious screening at the 2019 Queens World Festival in Queens, NY.
Then, who knows?