Archive for the Maya Deren Category

Maya Deren

Posted in 50 Directors Summary, Maya Deren on December 9, 2009 by Kanpoj K.

Maya Deren

She was born on 29 April 1917, Kiev, Ukraine, Russia. She came to America in 1922. Her father was a psychiatrist and her mother was an artist. She studied journalism and political science at the Syraxuse University in New York. She finished her bachelor degree at NYU in 1936 and master degree in English literature from Smith in 1939.

She was often refereed as ‘the mother of the Underground film’. She made her first film called Meshes of the Afternoon (1943 , 18 minutes) with her friend Alexander Hammid in 1943. She performed as the leading character herself. The film played with the theme of dream vs reality, somewhat in surrealistic style. The film was about a girl who claims that she has been sexual molested but she is not sure if it happens for real or results from a dream. Her next work, At Land” (1944, 15 minutes). This film she played with the concept of time and space. The next film Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946, 16 minutes), an exploration of dance and ritual.

Her interesting films are

Meshes of the Afternoon (1943 , 18 minutes)

At Land” (1944, 15 minutes)

Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946, 16 minutes)

Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti (1985)