{ feuilleton }

Avatar

• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

Meshes of the Afternoon by Maya Deren

maya.jpg

Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)
Dir: Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid.
Screenplay: Maya Deren.
Cast: Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid.
Music: Teiji Ito.
18mins, B&W.

Meshes of the Afternoon is one of the most influential works in American experimental cinema. A non-narrative work, it has been identified as a key example of the “trance film,” in which a protagonist appears in a dreamlike state, and where the camera conveys his or her subjective focus. The central figure in Meshes of the Afternoon, played by Deren, is attuned to her unconscious mind and caught in a web of dream events that spill over into reality. Symbolic objects, such as a key and a knife, recur throughout the film; events are open-ended and interrupted. Deren explained that she wanted “to put on film the feeling which a human being experiences about an incident, rather than to record the incident accurately.”

Made by Deren with her husband, cinematographer Alexander Hammid, Meshes of the Afternoon established the independent avant-garde movement in film in the United States, which is known as the New American Cinema. It directly inspired early works by Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, and other major experimental filmmakers. Beautifully shot by Hammid, a leading documentary filmmaker and cameraman in Europe (where he used the surname Hackenschmied) before he moved to New York, the film makes new and startling use of such standard cinematic devices as montage editing and matte shots. Through her extensive writings, lectures, and films, Deren became the preeminent voice of avant-garde cinema in the 1940s and the early 1950s. (MoMA.org)

Maya Deren at Ubuweb. Includes free film downloads
Maya Deren at Senses of Cinema

Previously on { feuilleton }
Jodorowsky on DVD
Jordan Belson on DVD
Kenneth Anger on DVD…finally
Ten films by Oskar Fischinger
Lapis by James Whitney
La Villa Santo Sospir by Jean Cocteau
Expanded Cinema by Gene Youngblood
The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda

 


 

Posted in {film}, {surrealism}.

Tags: , , , , .

 


 


 

No comments or trackbacks

Comments are closed.

 


 

tracker

 


 

“feed your head”