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Maya Deren : experimental films

Author: Maya DerenAlexander HammidHilla HeymanTalley BeattyJohn CageAll authors
Publisher: New York, NY : Mystic Fire Video, ©2002.
Edition/Format:   DVD video : NTSC color broadcast system : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
6 short films by surrealist Russian-American filmmaker Maya Deren, the "Mother of the trance film", that evoke and exemplify the American avant-garde film movement of the 1940s and 1950s, studying identity, movement, and freedom.
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Genre/Form: Short films
Dance films
Drama
Experimental films
Independent films
Low budget films
Surrealist films
Motion picture film collections
Named Person: Maya Deren; Maya Deren
Material Type: Internet resource, Videorecording
Document Type: Visual material, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Maya Deren; Alexander Hammid; Hilla Heyman; Talley Beatty; John Cage; Chao-Li Chi; Rita Christiani; Richard Englund; Genaro Gomez; Anaïs Nin; Parker Tyler; Gore Vidal; Frank Westbrook; Antony Tudor; Teiji Itō; Metropolitan Opera (New York, N.Y.). Ballet,; Mystic Fire Video, Inc.,
OCLC Number: 50924793
Language Note: English audio.
Notes: Collective title from disc menu.
Individual titles from features.
Originally produced as a series of motion pictures from 1943-1959.
Special features: "Private life of a cat" experimental short by Alexander Hammid (22 min.); "Divine horseman" excerpt (8 min.); biography; bibliography; picture gallery; "Writings" biographical diary notes by Anais Nin; "Writings" comments by Le Corbusier; "Notes and quotes" text comments for each work.
Credits: Meshes of the afternoon: Choreographic collaboration by Anthony Tudor ; music by Teiji Itō.
At land: Photographed with the assistance of Hella Hamon [sic] and Alexander Hamid [sic].
Ritual in transfigured time: Photographed by Hella Heyman ; choreographic collaboration, Frank Westbrook.
Meditation on Violence: Music arranged by Maya Deren.
The very eye of night: Made in collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School students under the direction of Antony Tudor ; music by Teiji Itō.
Cast: Meshes of the afternoon: Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid.
At land: Maya Deren, John Cage, Parker Tyler, Alexander Hammid, Hella Heyman.
A study in choreography for camera: Talley Beatty.
Ritual in transfigured time: Maya Deren, Rita Christiani, Anaïs Nin, Frank Westbrook, Gore Vidal.
Meditation on violence: Chao Li Chi.
The very eye of night: Metropolitan Opera Ballet School students: Don Freisinger, Richard Sandifer, Patricia Ferrier, Bud Bready, Genaro Gomez, Barbara Levin, Richard Englund, Rosemary Williams, Phillip Salem.
Target Audience: MPAA rating: Not rated.
Description: 1 videodisc (76 min.) : sound, and si., black and white ; 4 3/4 in.
Details: DVD-R; All Regions; NTSC; Aspect Ratio 1.33:1; Dolby digital stereo.
Contents: Meshes of the afternoon (1943-59, sd., 14 min.) / a film by Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid --
At land (1944, si., 15 min.) --
A study in choreography for camera (1945, si., 4 min.) / by Maya Deren and Talley Beatty --
Ritual in transfigured time (1945-46, si., 15 min.) / by Maya Deren --
Meditation on violence (1948, sd., 12 min.) / a film by Maya Deren --
The very eye of night (1952-59, sd., 15 min.) / a choreography for camera by Maya Deren ; conceived, directed, filmed and edited by Maya Deren.
Other Titles: Meshes of the afternoon.
At land.
Study in choreography for camera.
Ritual in transfigured time.
Meditation on violence.
Very eye of night.
Divine horseman.
Private life of a cat.
Experimental films
Collected experimental films
Responsibility: [director, Maya Deren].
More information:

Abstract:

6 short films by surrealist Russian-American filmmaker Maya Deren, the "Mother of the trance film", that evoke and exemplify the American avant-garde film movement of the 1940s and 1950s, studying identity, movement, and freedom.

Meshes of the afternoon: In this expressionistic "trance film," full of dramatic angles and innovative editing, a woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality.

At land: Maya Deren washes up on the shore of the beach, and climbs up a piece of driftwood that leads to a room lit by chandeliers, and one long table filled with men and women over which, seemingly invisible, she crawls.

A Study in choreography for camera: An exploration of a man who dances in a forest, and then seems to teleport to the inside of a house because of how continuous his movements are from one place to the next, showing a progression from nature to the confines of society, and back to nature.

Ritual in transfigured time: In this surreal silent avant garde film Deren weaves together her interest in dance with the exploration of myth and symbol, using movement and gestural play as a metaphor for courtship, sexual union, and fear of rejection, illuminated by concepts drawn from Greek legend.

Meditation on violence: Based on traditional training movements of the Wu-tang and Shaolin schools of Chinese boxing, Deren captures dancer Chao Li Chi performance as she experiments with film time through edited sequences altering between slow motion footage, reversed footage and doubled footage, reversing the film part way through producing a loop that returns to the first sequence.

The very eye of night: Dancers, shown in photographic negative, perform a series of ballet moves - solos, pas de deux, larger groupings - the dancers gliding and rotating untroubled by gravity against a slowly changing starfield background.

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