September 9th, 2018
Maya Deren : Choreographies In Time and Space
Combining her interests in film, dance, Haitian Vodoo and subjective psychology, Deren (1917-1961) created a series of surreal, perceptual, black-and-white short films. Using editing, multiple exposures, jump cutting, superimposition, slow-motion, and other camera techniques to fullest advantage, she perfected a technique of continued motion through discontinued time and space. Abandoning established notions, she turned her cinematic vision into enigmatic streams of consciousness.
Witches Cradle Outtakes(16mm, 1943, USA, 10mins)
A never released and lost film made in 1943, these outtakes are the only surviving fragments of a complex piece fusing Deren’s interest in witchcraft and Marcel Duchamp’s string work. Duchamp appears fleetingly in this enigmatic footage.
At Land (16mm, 1944, USA, 15mins)
In which a woman, played by Deren, is washed up on a beach and goes on a strange journey encountering other people and other versions of herself. Deren once said that the film is about the struggle to maintain personal identity.
A Study In choreography For Camera – Outtakes (16mm, 1945, USA, 16mins)
All of the rejected material from Deren’s simplest and purest film offers the student of cinema and those interested a vivid lesson in how she constructed a film – it provides a model for economy in editing.
A Study In choreography For Camera (16mm, 1945, USA, 3mins)
Freeing the dancer from the static space of a theatre by transposing him in a space that is mobile and volatile. A duet between Talley Beatty, the dancer, the space and the camera.
Meditation On Violence(16mm to digital, 1948, USA, 13mins)
We witness the precise movements of a solitary Chinese boxer performing a ritualized dance. It reaches an epiphany when he is abruptly jump-cut from studio to outside and freezes in mid-air, then resumes the dance in reverse order. 2007 restoration.
The Very Eye of The Night(16mm, 1959, USA, 15mins)
The inner world of being, where we go when we fall asleep. The laws, qualities and structures of this space and time are limitless. There is the darkness of the night, and the movements of dancers and the camera, which, released from gravity become four-dimensional and omni-directional like those of the birds in air or fish in the water.