On Shawano Lake

On Shawano Lake is a poetry film by Michèle Saint-Michel. The film is based on the poem of the same name by American poet Lora Keller.

The film plays with the horizontal line, representing the horizon where the water meets the sky and the shoreline that divides the water from the land. We journey into color and fragmentation in the style of color field paintings.

The film shifts tonally to the surreal when the speaker mentions imagination. A pattern of triplicates plays on the three children in the poem and on the classic children’s circular rhyming song, "Row row row your boat" that's often sung as a round.

Keller narrates the film.

  • Michèle Saint-Michel
    Vile Figs, Transmettre, Abyss Welcomes Us, PTSD Suite, Lost Sock Collection, School of Life, Don't Tell Me I'm Beautiful, Return of the Unchartable Soul
  • Lora Keller
  • Lora Keller
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Experimental, Poetry Film
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 7, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    250 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Michèle Saint-Michel

Michèle Saint-Michel is an artist, experimental filmmaker, and author. Designed to promote healing, her works–often in the mediums of film and moving image, poetry, fluxus sound, and art books–encourage healthy coping and recovery from difficult experiences. In the first half of 2021, her experimental films screened in NYC, Seattle, Paris, and Montreal. In 2020, she published her first experiential art book, Grief is an Origami Swan: An Art Book About Grief.

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Director Statement

About poet Lora Keller: After growing up in Kaukauna, Lora lived in New York City and Kansas City and has made Milwaukee her home for the past 30 years. After college, she was a scriptwriter, public relations executive and educator then owned two small businesses. Now, she writes full-time. Her poems are published widely and include a Pushcart Prize nomination. To connect, go to lakeller.com.