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Meshes of the Afternoon

Meshes of the Afternoon

Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid
United States
1943
14 min
n.a.
Focus: 16 Worlds on 16
Synopsis

For her influential short avant-garde film Meshes of the Afternoon the prominent experimental filmmaker Maya Deren collaborated with her then husband, Alexander Hamid. The film is silent except for snippets of added sound, such as the ticking of a clock. In 1957, the Japanese composer Teiji Ito, Deren’s second husband, added an ambient, dreamy soundtrack to the film.

The action centers around a woman (played by Deren) who repeatedly follows another woman, the latter of whom is dressed in black, is holding a flower and has a mirror for a face. Every time this mysterious presence disappears around the corner, Deren enters a house. The second time she goes inside, her first version is still there; the third time, there are three of her.

The camera follows the woman from striking angles while the lighting produces sharp, diagonal shadows in this black-and-white film. A knife, a telephone and a key return time and again and sometimes abruptly merge. Subsequently, a man (played by Hamid) enters this menacing, circular fantasy world.

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Credits
14 min
black and white
16mm
Spoken languages: No dialogue
Director
    Maya Deren,
    Alexander Hammid
    Maya Deren,
    Alexander Hammid
Production
    Maya Deren
    Maya Deren
Cinematography
    Alexander Hammid
    Alexander Hammid
Editing
    Maya Deren
    Maya Deren
Music
    Teiji Ito
    Teiji Ito
Screenplay
    Maya Deren
    Maya Deren
World Sales
    Light Cone
    Light Cone
Screening copy
    Light Cone
    Light Cone

Stills

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