Maya Deren: Experimental Films
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(Feb 02, 2002)
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Top Customer Reviews
If I were to have seen these films w/o the dates at the beginning, I would have never in a million years believed these films were made in the early to late 1940s. I truly could believe these films were made in Seattle this year. This lady is a great artist whose films need to be seen by a large audience today. I want to see her films on the big screen. There is hope as long as we have Indy theaters.
"At Land" (15 min, silent, 1944) again places Deren in the central role and uses duplication of her character to convey self-perception. "A Study in Choreography for Camera" (2 min, silent, 1943) features ballet dancer Talley Beatty performing continuously as the camera jumps between different environments discontinuously. "Ritual in Transfigured Time" (15 min, silent, 1945-6) is another self-expression but with Rita Christiani and Anais Nin in major roles, Deren appearing at the beginning and end. "Meditation on Violence" (12 min, 1948) films Chao Li Chi performing traditional movements from Wu-Tang Chinese boxing, accompanied by flute and drums. The peaceful and violent aspects of the martial art are represented as Chao begins with no accoutrements against a white background then moves outdoors in ceremonial dress with a sword.Read more ›
This collection includes:
* Meshes of the Afternoon (1943, music 1959), her best-known film
* At Land (1944)
* A Study in Choreography for Camera (1945)
* Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946)
* Meditation on Violence (1948)
* The Very Eye of Night (1952, music 1959)
Definitely worth exploring.
Although I particularly like the films featuring her wandering across strange landscapes, as a martial artist I was captivated by that of the father of her second husband doing Tai Chi at fighting speed especially when he started swinging a short sword around himself.
BTW, the reason for the title is that she died in 1961 at the relatively young age of 44, eleven years before I became aware of her. A bitter disappointment for someone who once had dreams of making films with her until life, family and a mortgage eventually intruded several years later.
If you have any interest in experimental and underground films this disk should take pride of place in your collection. Highly recommended by Bill "Sock Puppet" Fox.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Experimental Films by Maya Deren is the primer for surrealist experimentation with film in all its black and white beauty. Read morePublished on May 12, 2007 by dmm
a nice teansfer from old materials. films are moving and thoughtful and wonderfully stimulatingPublished on March 8, 2007 by J Rodbard