Cross-Cut | Guys Reading Poems


In film editing terminology, a cross-cut sequence is one where the movie jumps between two different scenes, often to build suspense or create a deeper understanding of all the characters involved by subtly relating the actions of one character to the activity in the other scene. A classic example would be the cross-cut sequence that cuts between the mafia murders in various parts of town with newly minted criminal mastermind Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) attending a baptism in “The Godfather.”

In Guys Reading Poems, we employ poetry as a prime vehicle to understand the life of a creative but troubled family of artists living in downtown Los Angeles. To add meaning to this experiment in film narrative, we are curating a series of essays titled “Cross-Cut.” The collection of short pieces will delve into the oeuvre, psychology and impact of each of the poets we’ve selected for inclusion in the film. Our hope is that an additional layer of insight into each poet will enrich your experience of how their work is applied cinematically in our film.

Here is a listing of the poets included in Guys Reading Poems along with links to the essays about them from our contributors:

William BlakeBertolt Brecht, Richard Corbet, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Gray, Thomas Hardy, Ben Jonson, Edna St. Vincent MillayHarold Monro, Sir Walter Scott, Sara TeasdaleChidiock TichborneWalt Whitman, William Wordsworth, W.B. Yeats

Most of the poetry is public domain work from deceased authors, but the film includes poems from two writers living and working in Los Angeles. They are:

Steven ReignsHunter Lee Hughes

The film also includes five passages of poetry from The Bible.

To see how the poetry is integrated in the film, you can order and watch the film now via iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, Vimeo, YouTube or