TRANSFIGURED AND DIVINE
Two films by Maya Deren
Maya Deren (born Eleonora Derenkowska), (1917–1961) was a Ukrainian-born American experimental filmmaker and important promoter of the avant-garde in the 1940s and 1950s. Deren was also a choreographer, dancer, film theorist, poet, lecturer, writer, and photographer.
RITUAL IN TRANSFIGURED TIME
Maya DEREN (USA / 1946 / 16mm to digital / 14′ 00)
Here we have gestures that invite us to move into step with them, abandoning the comfort of the known and giving ourselves over to so many strange partners.. The film’s continuity is established by an emphasis on gesture and/or dance throughout.
DIVINE HORSEMEN-THE LIVING GODS OF HAITI
Maya DEREN (USA /1951 / 16mm to digital / 55′ 00)
Conceived by Deren as a ‘film poem’, this film takes an intimate look into the heart of a religion originally born in West Africa and brought to the Americas by African slaves in the 18th century.
This film journey into the Voudoun religion, was edited from footage shot by Deren in Haiti during extensive research trips between 1947 and 1954. Bodies, rhythm and movement are emphasised in this film, which becomes a haunting document encompassing Deren’s personal interest in dance, ritual and possession. Deren died before completing the film.
In 1985 – twenty years after Deren’s death, the film was completed by Deren’s third husband Teji Ito.