johnsu01 (johnsu01) wrote,
johnsu01
johnsu01

"Yes", a film in verse

All Things Considered highlighted a new movie written all in verse. The movie is "Yes", written by Sally Potter. Every word of dialog is spoken in iambic pentameter.

That was the way NPR described it, as "iambic pentameter."

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I don't think that's a correct description. At least, it's not the full story. Iambic pentameter doesn't necessitate rhyming. You can have unrhymed iambic pentameter --- blank verse being one popular form. Everything said in this movie rhymes. Hearing only the short clips, I wasn't able to make out what the rhyme scheme was, though there were definitely some AA couplets.

The clips I heard on that segment, as well as on the review by Bob Mondello a couple days ago, sounded pretty good. The lines are delivered well, not too sing-songy or in the dreaded "poet's voice" (I really wish I had a good audio link for that). There seemed to be a decent amount of silence and rest in the dialog, which is a good sign. I think in a lot of verse plays, there isn't enough of that. Sometimes, you've got to get off the train.

I'm reminded that one of the things on my lifetime project list is to write a play in verse. Better get on that.

I'm also reminded of something I can't remember. Maybe somebody can help me out. Who was the poet who took all of his class notes in iambic pentameter for an extended period of time? I keep thinking it was WCW, but I wasn't able to verify it. The answer lies scribbled in one of the 20 notebooks stuffed in my top night-stand drawer, but I'm not ready to go there yet.

Tags: film, poetry
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