The 14-minute Meshes of the Afternoon (1942), by Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid, is as abstract a film as one can find, which nevertheless evokes a sphere of real meshes for the central figure played by Deren herself.  Meshes are things that ensnare, and the existence of such inevitably make the woman’s home a domain of uncertainty and panic.  An avant garde domain.

MITA is not meant to entertain; it is meant to be art.  The dreamlike violence, such as it is, is old hat now, but the rest of the footage has an up-to-date—a timeless—feel.  And, for good measure, it’s more respectable than, say, many of the photographs of Cindy Sherman.

Filmworks X: In the Mirror of Maya Deren

Filmworks X: In the Mirror of Maya Deren (Photo credit: Wikipedia)