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Maya Deren: Art, Form, Film

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Companion to Anagram and Short Films

Companion to Anagram and Short Films

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Maya Deren: Art, Form, Film Maya Deren: Art, Form, Film Presentation Transcript

  • Maya Deren art, form, film
  • about • Maya Deren, independent filmmaker in the 1940’s and 1950’s • Noted as the major figure of the experimental film movement after World War II • She co-founded the Creative Film Organization in NYC, organized to provide support for other independent filmmakers and worked devotedly to sustain support for independent films.
  • The object itself is not important. It is what is associated with the The symbolic value of object (context, an image or object relationships, attributes, can be illusory (based arrangements) that is on illusion, not truly important. Deren real), as in “the knife,” establishes these featured in Meshes of relationships through the the Afternoon (1943). form and technique of the film.
  • At Land • In At Land (1944), waves travel in reverse • The waves in reverse create a rift in our “normal” space/time perception; this allows us to see something differently, something new is created • This is “a reality that can only be achieved by the temporal manipulation of natural elements by the camera as an art instrument” (48)
  • Film Techniques • In Meshes of the Afternoon, Deren demonstrates the individual as divided, and in At Land (1944) the individual as multiplied. • In post-production, the elements work to create a special sense of perception in the spectator; the use of slow motion, time-lapse, reverse and inverse all work to defy the spectator’s expectations of logic, gravity, time and space.
  • Dancers, time, space • Study in Choreography for Camera (1945), Ritual in Transfigured Time (1945-6), and The Very Eye of Night (1952-59) • She uses the rhythm of twenty-four frames per second, the rhythm of light and darkness and the rhythm of varying speeds of filming to influence the spectator – more than any symbolic meaning could. • The intervals of light, speed, and space create (in the spectator) a sense of perception that is geared to an expectation which lies outside the modes of any particular experience, i.e., realist, sur- realist, psychoanalytic, etc.
  • the power of images • The films conveys the social matrix within which the individual is enmeshed, which holds just as much import as does the field of natural surroundings—of light, air, water and earth. • Deren believes in the power of film to dislocate her spectators, temporarily, from their systems of beliefs about the world. • She gives us alternative perceptions of the organic, flexible “reality” of self and society.
  • the power of images • Submerged in the social matrix, the individual will not perceive its submerged condition. • The power of Deren’s films is in the power to dislocate the participant/ audience temporarily, however briefly, from their systems of beliefs about the world. • She shows that “mind” itself is a vast network of “social” intercommunication, associations, and relationships wherein the individual is something like a transformer in an electric power grid.