Glitter

Glitter
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Creators

Jane Glennie, film-maker, writer, UK
Lucy English, writer, UK

Synopsis

Although at first a simple poem it has an undercurrent of unease. The little girl wants to be 'magical' like Elsa in Frozen or famous like Ariana Grande. She cannot see her own worth. She also cannot see the destructive nature of glitter which filters into the eco system and is hard to eradicate. Her mother reminds her to 'be who you are' and that self worth is not dependent on outside forces. Her mother also reminds her that a desire to 'rebuild the icecaps' and 'preserve food for the hungry' is much more important than being covered in glitter! 

Text

Please cover me in glitter

I want glitter on my nails and glitter in my hair and glitter on my face
and glitter everywhere

I want to sparkle like the treetop girl
The girl with wings and a magic wand and a gold shimmy dress
I want to be like her

I want to sparkle so my friends in my class will want me to sing at their pamper parties
I want to sing like Ariana Grande sing One last time on the roof
With a purple sky and the fireworks
I want to be like Elsa in Frozen
Throw off my glove and make snowsteps in the sky
Let it go, let it go, let it go

No
Be the glitter from within
Be the sparkle that you already are
Make the magic through your own work and creation
No need to be like Elsa, be who you are

If you wake up tomorrow and you can make snow
We'll learn to rebuild the icecaps
We'll make a polar bear den
We'll preserve food for the hungry
No one needs glitter

Jane Glennie on the project

My process is unusual because I use still images at 25 frames per second rather than moving image or animation. This creates a 'flicker film'. I used a macro lens for many of the original photographs to get really close-up to some of the textures, and I couldn't help but enjoy taking pictures of glitter as much as I despair about the problems of micro-plastics. My work has often touched on mothering and ambivalent feelings around motherhood. This film is a contrast to earlier work, in Glitter I felt quite definite and, in responding to Lucy's words, I felt confident in what I wanted to say as a mother.

Jane Glennie
Jane Glennie

Lucy English on the project

Jane Glennie and I wanted to 'co-write' the poem for this poetry film. The damage that our modern society inflicts unwillingly on nature was very much in our minds. The poem can be seen as a mother/daughter conversation or as two sides of a conscience. On one side we want all the 'sparkly' trappings of modern life even though we know they do harm to the planet. The other voice reminds us that self worth is not dependent on what we buy and our energies should focus more on repairing eco damage rather than more acquisition. I wrote the first verse of the poem and Jane responded to this. In the film I like the contrast between our two voices. Mine, wistful and slow and Jane's, sharp and brisk which starts with the abrupt 'No'! 

Lucy English
Lucy English

Screenings

International Poetry Film Festival #7, Athens, Greece, 2018

Bios

Jane Glennie is an artist, filmmaker and typographic designer. Her poetry films have been selected for international screenings and festivals including USA, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, and Singapore. Her self-written poetry film, Being and Being Empty, was selected for the first Instagram Poetry Exhibition at the National Poetry Library in London. She has been awarded a Jury Special Mention at the Weimar Poetry Film Competition, Germany, and was a finalist in Best Production in One Minute or Under at Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival, USA. She is currently working with Canadian poet, Doyali Islam, to produce a film for Visible Poetry Project in New York.

Lucy English is a Reader in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. She is a spoken word poet and novelist. She is co-director, with Sarah Tremlett, of Liberated Words, a CIC company, which creates, curates and screens poetry films. Lucy's recent digital project, The Book of Hours, is a re-imagining of a medieval book of hours in poetry film format. The Book of Hours contains 48 poetry films created in collaboration with 27 collaborators from Europe, America and Australia. Films from this project, including Glitter, have been screened at many international poetry film festivals including Visible Verse, Canada; Weimar and Zebra, Germany; Lisbon, Portugal; Poole Lighthouse and Newlyn in the U.K. She is researching the placement of spoken word in poetry films. The poetry from this project was published in book form by Burning Eye Press in 2018.

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For their contributions, advice and assistance, thanks to:
Ari Raijas, Bronwen Manger, Caroline Rumley, Dave Bonta, Eduardo Yagüe, Fiona Tinwei Lam, Helen Dewbery, Jane Glennie, Karen Dawson, Lori Ersolmaz, Lucia Sellars, Lucy English, Maria Vella, Martin Kelly, Matt Hetherington, Matt Mullins, Mike Hoolboom, Nigel Wells, Pam Falkenberg, R.W. Perkins, Sanket Shrestha, the film-makers, writers and their collaborators.