The Poetry of Penance

Ryan Curtis-

 

The Entertainment Design professor Kevin Pontuti has been working on a visual poetry series titled “The Poetry of Penance.” The short film series is described as: “Set within the psychological landscape of the European middle ages, these short vignettes — Cantos — use magical realism to explore themes of love, sin, remorse and redemption.”

“Pescare,” meaning “to fish,” is the latest film of the series and is being shown in the Furlong Gallery as part of the Faculty Show. Due to its theatrical format, Pescare is set up in its own room of the gallery with low lighting and visitor seating.

Pescare focuses largely on a woman cleaning fish. She authentically gags at first and is timid, but then as she progresses, she gets down to work and accepts her chore, and even seems to relish it. “It speaks to the idea of acceptance and resilience. Figuring that she’s going to have to do it, she might as well do it,” commented Pontuti.

 Kevin Pontuti is the Program Director for Entertainment Design.
Kevin Pontuti is the Program Director for Entertainment Design.

The minimalistic setting and context leaves Pescare open to the viewer’s interpretation. They raise questions like: Is the woman in a dream? Is she in Purgatory or Hell? Is she simply doing a chore? Unique sounds help fill in the gaps of the story so that the viewers can make their own connections and assumptions. “The sound quality adds a lot to the visuals. I didn’t feel like it needed much else,” said Pontuti.

Pescare was filmed in Umbria, Italy. Pontuti has filmed a couple of his short films in Italy and hopes to continue filming there, as well as take a look at filming in other international locations. Pontuti’s short films have received several independent film awards and have been screened in theaters around the world.

In the future, Pontuti hopes to have books and photo catalogs to go with each of the films in the series. These supplements will feature images and scenes not included in the films.

Visit the Furlong Gallery to see Pescare and other faculty-produced art before it closes on Feb. 25.

“The Poetry of Penance” is a visual poetry series that explores the themes of love, sin, remorse and redemption.
“The Poetry of Penance” is a visual poetry series that explores the themes of love, sin, remorse and redemption.