Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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A Hooded Figure

I was expecting disc five of I, Claudius to be in the next batch of my Netflixes, but instead The Experimental Films of Maya Deren finally became available. I was quite surprised for it to pop up like that, but I have to say that I'm pretty happy it did (even if it is an old-ass transfer of some really beat-up prints). I had seen Meshes of the Afternoon, the centerpiece of this collection, several times while in school, but this is the first time I'd seen anything else she'd done. It was quite interesting, although Meshes is still the best of the bunch. It is fascinating not only to watch these films for their own merits, but also in context of when they were made, the early to mid Forties.

Meshes was particularly influential with regards to cinematic Surrealism; David Lynch in particular seems to pick up right where Deren left off for many of the more dreamlike aspects of his oeuvre, and several of the films of Ingmar Bergman have elements that reflect it as well. Many of the techniques Deren uses have been adapted for use in mainstream films particularly towards the end of the Sixties and throughout the Seventies, as they were embraced by the counter-culture and cinematic zeitgeist (by the time the Eighties rolled around, the indelible mark of Jaws and then Star Wars had forced more experimental projects out of the spotlight again). This is Ms. Deren making a film to challenge the viewer, a film about mortality and perceptions of self, an erotic neurotic dreamscape literalized.

suitboyskin has expressed an interest in seeing Meshes of the Afternoon and lo and behold, here it is!

Part I (5:49)

Part II (7:38)


Not to be watched without sound!
Tags: cinema, filmmaking, movie moments
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