way, a film by Konrad Steiner in collaboration with Leslie Scalapino

In 1988 Oakland poet Leslie Scalapino published the award-winning, book-length poem way. In 1999 San Francisco filmmaker Konrad Steiner proposed a collaboration: a reading of the entire book as the soundtrack to a montage of images. They recorded Leslie Scalapino reading the work in 2000 at her home. Over the next eleven years, Steiner created six different films, one for each segment of the poem, each stylistically distinct. In one “film, bum series,” original 16mm Kodachrome footage shows pedestrian life and light in downtown San Francisco; “no(h) - setting” displays haunting internet clips documenting the Iraq war; “hoofer” atomizes a Fred Astaire dance number; and so on. The montage is a visual response and supplement to the music, imagery and sense of the original poem. The film cycle does not supersede the book, much less illustrate it, rather it acts as a cinematic space where the montage and the poem, the poet's and the filmmaker's imagination, are braided in time.