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09-08-2005
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Maya Deren
i know i have already mentioned her in my 'different...' thread but i thought she can easily fill more pages since she had such a unique way of dressing ... let alone doing things

you can view extracts of her films here, a very good site, www.re-voir.com

pictures from www.realfictionfilme.de

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09-08-2005
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....
this one is from meshes of the afternoon i believe

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09-08-2005
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it took you a while to make this thread :p . good call.

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09-08-2005
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from www.cavalierdaily.com

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09-08-2005
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Wow, anna, great call!

I love her films, and she was so beautiful, but I have no knowledge/recollection of how she dressed. Looking forward to seeing some examples.

Yes, that is the standard "poster shot" from Meshes....

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09-08-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MulletProof
it took you a while to make this thread :p . good call.
, i know, i'm always afraid i'll bore people

this one's from www.realfictionfilme.de again

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09-08-2005
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oh, i'm glad you like her films, too, tangerine ...
did you ever see the documentary 'in the mirror of maya deren'?
they were always talking about how she dressed like a hippie before time ...
very free and strong at the same time, not something one would link with the fifties....

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09-08-2005
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from www.sensesofcinema.com
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09-08-2005
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with her first husband alexander hammid from www.filmthreat.com
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09-08-2005
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here's a review of 'in the mirror...' from filmthreat again
Quote:
As a filmmaker, Maya Deren's output was fairly limited: only six short films, all made in 16mm, created during a 10-year period. Yet Deren's influence, both in the creative process and in the exhibition of independent cinema, is still felt to this day.

"In the Mirror of Maya Deren" is an excellent new documentary by Martina Kudlacek that focuses on the extraordinary life and astonishing productions of this groundbreaking artist. Perhaps it is a bit strange that it took so long for a film about Deren to be made, but this engrossing and fascinating feature more than makes up for the wait.

Deren was born Eleanora Derenkovskaya in Kiev in 1917. Her family emigrated to America when she was five and she was educated a posh Swiss boarding school and at Syracuse University and New York University. An early marriage to a Socialist activist did not pan out (the man's name is coyly not presented here), and the young Deren found work in various secretarial positions, including a stint with legendary choreographer Katherine Dunham (who recalls Deren in this film with very measured fondness). Deren came to Hollywood with Dunham's company and met Alexander Hammid, an exiled Czech filmmaker. Deren and Hammid fell in love and married, and in their first collaboration she purchased a second-hand 16mm Bolex camera to create an avant-garde short film.

The result of their collaboration was the 1943 "Meshes of the Afternoon." The silent, black-and-white film served up surreal imagery reminiscent of the Buñuel-Dali collaborations of the late 1920s, but its ethereal quality plus Deren's exotic on-screen presence as a woman lost in a strange dream made it stand out as a distinct and original work of art. "Meshes of the Afternoon" would later win an award at Cannes for experimental filmmaking, the first time such an honor was given to an American and a woman. (Sadly, Deren and Hammid divorced after the Cannes award was presented.)

"In the Mirror of Maya Deren" presents generous excerpts from Deren's films, mercifully in their original silent versions and not with the new scores added years later by her third husband, composer Teijo Ito. As a filmmaker, Deren broke new ground and taboos with her stunning imagery. "At Land" (1944) brings three women into a contact of an obviously Sapphic nature, while "Ritual in Transfigured Time" (1946) dared to erase color lines by having Trinidad-born Rita Christiani in a starring role where race is not an issue. Deren's fascination with capturing the grace and poetry of modern dance on film provided her audiences with "A Study in Choreography for Camera" (1945) with Talley Beatty as the lithe focus of the lens, "Meditation on Violence" (1946) with Chao-Li Chi mixing martial arts into balletic movements, and "The Very Eye of Night" (1955), with choreography by the legendary Antony Tudor and performances by his Metropolitan Opera Ballet School.

Working outside of the Hollywood system and with no chance for mainstream theatrical release of her film, Deren single-handedly wrote new rules, which are still in effect for the indie film world. She sought self-financing via an application for a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, making her the first filmmaker to seek and obtain such funding. In 1946, she leased New York's Provincetown Playhouse to present her short films on a single bill called "Three Abandoned Films," thus simultaneously inventing the notion of a shorts anthology as a feature and the concept of four-walling a theater. Deren later booked national tours of her films, also laying the groundwork for self-distribution (an avenue which has more than come into its own in the past few years). And, of course, her pursuit of avant-garde filmmaking clearly inspired the later works of such iconoclasts as Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage and Jonas Mekas (the latter two are among those interviewed in this film).

One of the joys of "In the Mirror of Maya Deren" is the ultra-rare presentation of material, which could have been Deren's masterpiece. Between 1947 and 1955, Deren conducted extensive research into Haitian culture, filming voodoo-inspired rituals and ceremonies and recording the island's folk music. While her time in Haiti produced the classic book "Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti" (1953), her plans to create a documentary on the Haitian culture never came anywhere near completion. For the first time, portions of this long unseen are shown here and the result is astonishing. Deren's hand-held camera brought her into the middle of celebrations, capturing the rapture and frenzy of participants who seemed possessed by both the force of ritual and perhaps the power of voodoo, while the singing and instrumentals she recorded is a raw, rich slice of Haiti's unique musical heritage. In many ways, Deren's unfinished material rivals the genius of Orson Welles' aborted Brazilian-based documentary "It's All True."

Sadly, Deren's work did not generate consistent financial stability and her death by cerebral hemorrhage in 1961 may have been caused in part due to periods of hunger brought about by simply having no money for food. While "In the Mirror of Maya Deren" does not speculate on where her career could have gone had she survived, it nonetheless offers a remarkable tribute to one of the few people who genuinely deserves to be known as a pioneer of filmmaking. In the genre of films about films, "In the Mirror of Maya Deren" is among the best.

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09-08-2005
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from www.starybrowar.pl/
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09-08-2005
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anna, thanks for the review of in the mirror.... I have not seen that, but I was surprised that the review claimed that this is the first release of the Divine Horsemen footage.

I saw a version of the unfinished Divine Horsemen, around 1980. As I recall, it was edited and/or released by someone/people she was working with at the time of her death. It was intimated that her death had to do with her getting "too involved" (spooky insinuation here) with voudon.

I wonder whatever happened to that version of the footage. It was incredibly powerful and it was obvious that she was deeply absorbed in her study. It is a shame she never got to finish the film.

Thanks for the pics, I remember that dress now, from At Land.

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09-08-2005
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you're most welcome!
yes, i've read about that version, too, maybe on here http://www.algonet.se/~mjsull/
the kudlacek film, or should i say the participants, also talked about the impact of voudon becoming too strong in her life, or her anger becoming too strong, explaining it very vividly...
don't you think it possible that martina kudlacek eventually got to use the footage that you saw in the eighties?

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10-08-2005
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anna, thanks for the link, I will explore that site.

The Kudlacek film sounds well worth viewing. It does sound like she used some, if not all of the footage I saw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anna karina
you're most welcome!
yes, i've read about that version, too, maybe on here http://www.algonet.se/~mjsull/
the kudlacek film, or should i say the participants, also talked about the impact of voudon becoming too strong in her life, or her anger becoming too strong, explaining it very vividly...
don't you think it possible that martina kudlacek eventually got to use the footage that you saw in the eighties?

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25-07-2012
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.. was trying to find one of her essays and ended up back here and figured a 7 year-old burial here is more than enough for Maya! don't have anything exciting to add though , but I figured a few pretty images (from Meshes of the Afternoon and At Land) could justify a revival.


atland1.jpgatland2.jpg

meshes1.jpgmeshes2.jpg
"At Land (1944) is a 15-minute silent experimental film written, directed by, and starring Maya Deren. It has a dream-like narrative in which a woman, played by Deren, is washed up on a beach and goes on a strange journey encountering other people and other versions of herself. Deren once said that the film is about the struggle to maintain one’s personal identity."



[Therese Bohman and Gabrielle Gamboa at pinterest.com/ 13052116012004150519.tumblr.com/]

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