Essential Deren Collected Writings on Film

ISBN-10: 0929701658

ISBN-13: 9780929701653

Edition: 2005

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Description:

Until now, Maya Deren's essays on the art and craft of filmmaking have not been available in a comprehensive volume equally handy for students, film enthusiasts, and scholars. Essential Deren: Collected Writings on Film contains all of Deren's essays on her own films as well as more general essays on film theory, the relation of film to dance, various technical aspects of film production, the distinction between amateur and professional filmmaking, and the famous 1946 chapbook titled "An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form and Film," which has been reset here for the first time. There are hard-to-find articles written for magazines and art journals, as well as lectures, Q&A sessions, program notes, and manifestoes. This book will be particularly welcomed by the large audience that saw Martina Kudlacek's documentary, "In the Mirror of Maya Deren," during its theatrical release in the U.S. and Europe in 2002. The importance of Maya Deren's films and writings is further evidenced by the American Film Institute having named its highest award for independent filmmaking the "Maya Deren." Contents Preface Film Poetics Amateur versus. Professional Cinema as an Art Form An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form and Film Cinematography: The Creative Use of Reality Film Production Creating Movies with a New Dimension: Time Creative Cutting Planning by Eye Adventures in Ceative Film-Making Film in Medias Res A Letter Magic is New New Directions in Film Art Choreography for the Camera Ritual in Transfigured Time Meditation on ViolenceThe Very Eye of Night Appendix A : The Village Voice Articles Appendix B: Manifestoes and Program Notes Selected Bibliography Filmography
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Book details

List price: $18.00
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: McPherson & Company
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 263
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Sometimes called "the mother of the American avant-garde cinema," Deren was born in Kiev, Ukraine, in the Soviet Union. At age 5, she fled the country with her parents and settled in New York. She attended Syracuse University, where she majored in journalism and became involved in political activism of the Left. She also studied at New York University and at Smith College, where she received an M.A. in English. In 1941, Deren took a job with choreographer Katherine Dunham and became fascinated by dance and movement, which was to serve as a subject for some of her films and inspired her thinking about camera movement as an art of dance. Her interest in film was sparked by Czech filmmaker Alexander Hammid, who became her second husband in 1942. They collaborated on her first two films, Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) and At the Land (1944). Both films use slow motion and subjective camera angles to disrupt the realist conventions of narrative film, undermining the coherency and continuity of time and space. Meshes of the Afternoon explores irrational violence, the unconscious, and female subjectivity in surrealist fashion, whereas At the Land more overtly manipulates time and space. A Study in Choreography for Camera (1945), Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946), and Meditation on Violence (1948) are all "dance films," in which the camera's constitutive role for film is explored through camera movement. Particularly striking is the use of the camera as a sparring partner for the boxer featured in Meditation on Violence. Throughout the 1940s, Deren worked in independent, experimental cinema, lecturing extensively and developing a network of nontheatrical exhibit spaces across the country. She also wrote a theoretical tract in An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form and Film (1946), which is testimony to her dictum that artists need to educate themselves in old and new knowledge---what she called philosophy. The fruit of her efforts was the Creative Film Foundation, which she established in 1954. Four years later, Deren made her last film, The Very Eye of Night, which she described as cool and classicist, contrasting it with the romanticism that she had come to despise in the work of some other avant-garde filmmakers.

Acknowledgments
Preface
Film Poetics
Amateur versus Professional
Cinema as an Art Form
An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form and Film
Cinematography: The Creative Use of Reality
Film Production
Creating Movies with a New Dimension: Time
Creative Cutting
Planning by Eye
Adventures in Creative Film-Making
Film in Medias Res
A Letter
Magic is New
New Directions in Film Art
Choreography for the Camera
Ritual in Transfigured Time
Meditation on Violence
The Very Eye of Night
The Village Voice Articles
Manifestoes and Program Notes
Selected Bibliography
Filmography
Resources
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