Maya Deren on _A Study in Choreography for the Camera_ (vhs/ntsc) –
The movement of the dancer creates a geography that never was. With the turn of the foot, he makesneighbors of distant places. Being a film ritual, it is achieved not in spatial terms alone, but in terms of a Time created by the camera.
Maya Deren on _Ritual In Transfigured Time_ (vhs/ntsc) –
A ritual is an action distinguished from all others in that it seeks realization of its purpose through the exercise of form. In this sense ritual is art; and even historically, all art derives from ritual. In ritual theform is the meaning. More specifically, the quality of movement itself is not a merely decorative factor ;it is the meaning itself of the movement. In this sense, this film is a dance.
Maya Deren on _The Very Eye of Night_ (vhs/ntsc) –
The laws of macrocosm and of microcosm are alike. Travel in the interior is as a voyage in outer space: we must in each case burst past the circumference of our surface – our here-space and/or now-time – and, cut loose from the anchorage of an absolute, fixed center, enter worlds where the relationship of parts is the sole gravity. This is a ballet of night, entirely in the negative, in which the dancers are constellations which orbit and revolve in the night sky.
Maya on _Meshes Of The Afternoon_ (vhs/ntsc) –
The mind begins with the matter at hand – the incidental curve of a road or the accidental movement of a passing figure. As it perceives these it possesses them as images, as the stuff of which it composes itsnight and day dreams in the forms of its desires and despairs. But the mind is not completely master of these images; they are charged with the primal, indestructible energy of their origin – matter. And it may thus occur that, of an afternoon, these restive captives of memory – refreshed by new contexts andreleased by the lax discipline of sleep – may triumphantly regain the province of actuality.
Maya Deren on _At Land_ (vhs/ntsc) –
The universe was once conceived as a vast preserve, landscaped for heroes, plotted to provide them withappropriate adventures. The rules were known and respected, the adversaries honorable, the oraclesarticulate. Today the rules are ambiguous, the adversary is concealed in aliases, the oracles broadcast a babble of contradictions. One struggles to preserve, in the midst of such relentless metamorphosis, a constancy of personal identity.
She was her own avant-garde movement. Deren experimented with Shao-Lin and Wu-Dang kickboxing in _Meditation on Violence_ (vhs/ntsc), Voodoun ritual dances, and classical ballet with “A Study in Choreography for the Camera.”
Her parents fled the Russian Revolution, and wound up in America. The Derenkowskis had no idea their little Eleanora would grow up to be a socialist and voodoo priestess, in the Greenwich Village section of New York City.
Her first husband, Alexander Hammid, was a successful photographer. He trained her in camerawork and collaborated on her earliest filmic efforts. Their first and best-known was “Meshes of the Afternoon,” made in 1943.
Later, Deren was associated with the Katherine Dunham dance troupe. She produced films with members of that group, including Antony Tudor. “Ritual in Transfigured Time” incorporated everyday movements into dancelike arrangements, with the help of slow-motion effects.
After being granted the first film-related Guggenheim fellowship, she traveled to Haiti to study local religious practices. Deren not only wrote a respected book on the subject, “Divine Horsemen,” she became a convert to Voodoun as well.
She met Teiji Ito when he was a fifteen year old runaway. They later married, and he stayed with her until her death in 1961. He wrote musical scores for her projects; then he completed her last film, “Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti,” posthumously. His third wife, Cherel Ito, became executor of the Deren collection.
avant garde ethnic film music release _Film Works Volume 10: In The Mirror Of Maya Deren_ by John Zorn on Tzadik (2001)
Date of birth (location)
29 April 1917,
Date of death
Filmography as: Director, Actress
- _Very Eye Of Night, The_ (vhs/ntsc) (1958)
- avant garde experimental track _In The Very Eye Of Night_ MP3 by John Zorn off of _Songs From The Hermetic Theatre_ on Tzadik (2001)
- sample of Maya Deren explaining her approach to films: “what i do in my films is very… i think very distinctively, i think they are the films of a woman, and i think that they’re characteristic time quality, is the time quality of a woman. i think that the strength of men is their great sense of immediacy. they are a “now” creature. and a woman has strength to wait. ’cause she’s had to wait. she has to wait 9 months of the concept of a child. time is built into her body in the sense of becomingness. and she sees everything in terms of it being in the stage of becoming. she raises a child knowing not what it is at any moment but seeing always the person that it will become. her whole life from her very beginning it’s built into her a sense of becoming. now in any time form, this is a very important sense. i think that my films, putting as much stress as they do, upon the constant metamorphosis. one image is always becoming another. it is what is happening that is important in my films, not what is at any moment. this is a woman’s time sense and i think it happens more in my films than in almost anyone else’s…
- _Meditation On Violence_ (vhs/ntsc) (1948)
- _Ritual In Transfigured Time_ (vhs/ntsc) (1946)
- face Anais Nin
- _Study In Choreography For Camera, A_ (vhs/ntsc) (1945)
- _At Land_ (vhs/ntsc) (1944)
- _Meshes Of The Afternoon_ (vhs/ntsc) (1943)
- _Witch’s Cradle_ (1943)
- unfinished, collaborated with Marcel Duchamp
Filmography as: Director, Actress
1.Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946)
2.At Land (1944)
3.Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)