An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form and Film by Maya Deren

By Maya Deren

Maya Deren’s 4 sixteen mm. movies have already gained huge acclaim. confident that there has been poetry within the digital camera, she defied all advertisement construction conventions and began to make movies with simply usual novice apparatus. Her first, MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON (1943), was once made together with her husband Alexander Hammid, whose films–FORGOTTEN VILLAGE, challenge, HYMN OF THE international locations (Toscannini) and others–reveal additionally that devotion to the poetry of imaginative and prescient which shaped the typical flooring in their collaboration. while different paintings claimed his time, Maya Deren went on by means of herself–conceiving, generating, directing, appearing, (being not able to come up with the money for actors) photographing (when she used to be now not within the scene) and slicing. via all of the trials of such shoe-string construction, which integrated sporting gear for miles to the site, she had purely advice of one other lady, Hella Heyman, as camerawoman. but 3 extra motion pictures have been made: AT LAND, A learn IN CHOREOGRAPHY FOR digicam (with Talley Beatty) and formality IN TRANSFIGURED TIME, hence proving that tremendous movies can be made “for the cost of the lipstick in one Hollywood production.” Her heroic endurance has simply been rewarded via a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial starting place Fellowship. furthermore, the attractiveness of the flicks has unfold in order that functionality on the Provincetown Playhouse have been thoroughly bought out and so they have additionally been proven in faculties and museums through the country.

In this pamphlet Maya Deren’s method of movie displays no longer the constrained scope of a pro craftsman, yet a extensive cultural background–a profound curiosity not just in esthetics mostly and in mental perception, yet in physics and the sciences to boot. Russian-born, daughter of a psychiatrist, Maya Deren attended Syracuse college, while she first took an interest in movie, and got her B.A. from long island college and her M.A. from Smith collage, either levels in literature.

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Disillusioned w i t h 45 28 Paul Robeson and Chester A. Alexander in Oscar Micheaux's Body and Soul (1925). From 1918 to 1948, Micheaux (1884—1951) made some 30 films, all with exclusively black casts. Achieving some glamour despite budgetary constraint, features such as Birthright (1924), The Exile (1931), God's Step Children (1938) and The Notorious Elinor Lee (1940) were hugely popular in black neighbourhoods and Latin America. Few, however, have survived. 28 29 H o l l y w o o d , Flaherty emigrated to Britain w h e r e , after Man of Aran (1934), he again found himself confined to location w o r k on Z o l t a n Korda's The Elephant Boy (1937).

T h e directors Stellan R y e (1880-1914) and U r b a n G a d (1879—1947) and the silent superstar Asta N i e l s e n (1883—1972, creator of the vamp) had already departed for G e r m a n y in 1 9 1 2 because of the limited resources generated by the small domestic market, and this n e w crisis p r o m p t e d a similar e x o d u s . B e n j a m i n Christensen (1879—1959) w e n t to S w e d e n , w h e r e he shot his b e s t - k n o w n film, Witchcraft through the Ages (1922), w h i l e C a r l T h e o d o r D r e y e r (1889—1968), already k n o w n for his abstract c o m p o s i t i o n and use of intimate close-up, sought opportunities in G e r m a n y and France.

Chaplin considered him 'the greatest director in the world'. A sensitive director of performers, Sjostrom also had great feeling for the natural landscape, w h i c h he used, along w i t h spare, stylized sets, to c o n v e y atmosphere and psychological states. His earliest w o r k , including Ingeborg Holm ( 1 9 1 3 ) , was noted for its mosaic narrative, poetic imagery, deep-focus photography and heightened perspectives, achieved by placing objects at 9 0 to the camera. As his technique b e c a m e m o r e assured, Sjostrom b e g a n h o l d i n g shots to reinforce the significant interaction of character and setting, and e x p e r i m e n t i n g w i t h structure.

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