Friday, 9 December 2016

Maya Deren

Note : This is artistic shit that might bore you to death. But I liked it and so it is here in this blog.

I knew of Maya Deren because I listened immensely to Godflesh (their magnum opus in 1989 and their 90s period), and one of the Godflesh outcomes in those successful period, had this cover.

As per Wikipedia, this cover is taken from of the photo-scenes of the 1943 film Meshes of the Afternoon by Maya Deren.

And this is Meshes of The Afternoon.

Derens film clearly demonstrates a dreamscape atmosphere through over use of stop action cutting and abrupt editing. The abstract camera angles and movements generates a dream like quality that allowes audiences to question and wonder into a subconscious level. 
With all of the abstract editing and symbolic imagery, its evident to believe that Deren and husband Hammid wanted to show an artistic visual of the subconscious through film. Viewers that watch the film are lead to follow a normal narrative, but gets fooled once the first shot is displayed. There are many subjective shots that parallels with camera angles and movements. These technical shots are obvious to the viewer,while also subtle to clues and symbolism leaving an open ending. 
Derens objective for this film was to create a poetic visual art film, initially an avant garde personal film with her husband. However not only does this film carries out as an avant garde, but also is considered one of the most influential and powerful experimental films ever made."

Maya Deren (April 29, 1917 – October 13, 1961), born Eleanora Derenkowskaia (Russian: Элеоно́ра Деренко́вская), was one of the most important American experimental filmmakers and entrepreneurial promoters of the avant-garde in the 1940s and 1950s. Deren was also a choreographer, dancer, film theorist, poet, lecturer, writer and photographer.

The function of film, Deren believed, like most art forms, was to create an experience; each one of her films would evoke new conclusions, lending her focus to be dynamic and always-evolving.[1] She combined her interests in dance, Haitian Vodou and subjective psychology in a series of surreal, perceptual, black and white short films. Using editing, multiple exposures, jump cutting, superimposition, slow-motion and other camera techniques to her fullest advantage, Deren creates continued motion through discontinued space, while abandoning the established notions of physical space and time, with the ability to turn her vision into a stream of consciousness.

 One of her other movie which I considered as bloody cute yet artistic is The Private Life of Cats, made on 1947.

Anyway, this is a documentary on Maya Deren.

You can read this book online now.