Starfish Aorta Colossus
poem by Paolo Javier
film by Lynne Sachs with Sean Hanley
5 min. 2015
Poetry watches film. Film reads poetry. Paolo Javier’s text is a catalyst for the digital sculpting of an 8mm Kodachrome canvas. Syntactical ruptures and the celebration of nouns illuminate twenty-five years of rediscovered film journeys.
NYC poet Paolo Javier invited filmmaker Lynne Sachs to create a film that would speak to one of his poems from his newly published book Court of the Dragon (Nightboat Books). Sachs chose Stanza 10 from Javier’s poem “Starfish Aorta Colussus” and then traveled through 25 years of her 8 mm films — including footage of the A.I.D.S. Quilt from the late 1980s, a drive from Florida to San Francisco, and a journey into a very untouristic part of Puerto Rico. Throughout the process, Sachs explores Javier’s celebration of nouns and the haunting resonances of Javier’s poetry.
“Sachs’ latest, “Starfish Aorta Colossus” (made with Sean Hanley), is based on a poem by Paolo Javier. An eerie, fractured meditation on loss, the poem is visualized with another foray into multiplied imagery. Although formally “Starfish” echoes “Drawn and Quartered,” the new film features striking footage of the AIDS quilt, as well as partial, disrupted portions of bodies and landscapes. The structural play that enlivened Sachs’ film from 30 years ago is now mournful, staggered. This speaks not only to Sachs’ inevitable maturity as an artist, but no doubt to her assessment of the three decades we have collectively traversed to arrive where we are now.” – Michael Sicinski, Nashville Scene
Anti-Matter Media Arts Festival
Transient Visions Festival of New Media
Haverhill Experimental Film Festival
Transient Visions Festival of the Moving Image; Anti-Matter Media Arts Festival (Vancouver); Haverhill Experimental Film Festival; Anthology Film Archives, Spectacle Theater; Black Maria Film Festival Third Place Jury Award; San Francisco Film Festival; Bay Area Book Festival; Images Contre la Nature (France); Los Angeles Center for the Digital Arts; Korean Society of Media Arts Seoul; Festival Experimental Rio de Janeiro; Kino Palais & Lumiton Museo del Cine Buenos Aires; Camera Lucida, Cuenca, Ecuador; Enguage Festival, San Francisco; Revolutions per Minute Film Festival, Boston.
Selected by Mehdi Jahan on Desist Film’s Best of 2021 List.