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10 Great Movies Based on Poems

We’re all pretty comfortable with the idea of movies based on books — fiction, nonfiction, and even self-help books — but what about books of poetry? Last week, Open Culture posted a fascinating film based on the poetry of Sylvia Plath. While it might seem surprising to see a film based on a poem, it’s actually probably a lot more common than you think. To prove it, find ten great films based on poetry after the jump. Don’t see your favorite? Add it to the list in the comments.

Lady Lazarus

This 1991 film by experimental feminist filmmaker Sandra Lahire is centered around Sylvia Plath’s famous poem “Lady Lazarus,” taking its audio from Plath’s own reading of the poem, as well as “Cut,” “Daddy,” “Ariel,” and “Ouija,” as well as excerpts from a 1962 interview. Lahire describes the film, the first in a trilogy of Plath-related films she would shoot over the next few years, as “a visually woven response to Sylvia Plath’s own readings of her poetry… which celebrates her macabre humour and cinematic vision. A carousel of images in windows, an atmosphere of constant metamorphosis; her poetry as cinema.”

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