Jordon Rooney, Shane McFarland
Mark Anthony Thomas
I must admit that I am definitely not one to judge poetry. And yet I also firmly believe that poetry does, in fact, permeate our lives whether we like it or not. The poetry that I personally am most familiar with is found in music - in song. It's totally different when words have to stand on their own without a backing melody - sometimes, words work better when they're being belted out. Take away these two elements, and the words to a lot of songs would not be considered poetry. But, of course, I am not counting the "Dylans" of the world.
So I'm not going to judge this film on the poetry but on the film itself. This makes sense to me because, honestly? Film is a visual medium. In regards to Mark Anthony Thomas's title "Folded Whispers," I'll borrow some high praise from people who most certainly know more than me about this genre and the artist. "Insightful artist," "his talent has been locked away too long," "his journey is vivid and universal," "his writing is deep enough to the leave the soul wondering about the true meaning of our lives," and "his storytelling touches on universal fears and experiences." That is some truly high praise, and I agree with every word. He is no doubt a seasoned poet with a lot of passion. "Folded Whispers" captures his first performance in 15 years! That is quite the hiatus and makes this event really special for his fans. It takes place at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh - a legendary theater that supports black and queer artists.
On the technical front, "Folded Whispers" takes a superb snapshot of the event, providing great insight into the artist's soul. When it's all said and done, I wish I had more to say regarding this title, but not only is it a really short film, but as I wrote above, poetry is in the eye of the beholder. Still, even considering my limited poetic nature, I still feel that "Folded Whispers" deserves a three-and-a-half out of five-star rating. Well done.