Maya Deren was a renowned experimental filmmaker who believed the main objective of art was to create new realities to add onto the already accepted ones. While some of the authors we’ve previously discussed believed art replicated reality and others believed it replaced it entirely, Deren’s mindset is plotted directly in-between these two opposing perspectives. One of her main points in the article describes the art of the controlled accident. The recognition of a known reality plus the reality of the image itself creates a reality that is derived from a situation that is not fully controllable. Through the use of properties such as slow motion, negative images and disjunctive editing, an alternate reality is formed. She goes on to say that a major portion of the creative action occurs through the manipulation of time and space in both pre production and postproduction. In her experimental films, Meshes of the Afternoon and At Land, the manipulation of space and time is very evident and profound.

In Meshes of the Afternoon, she combined reality with a layer of cinematic illusions allowing the audience the ability to jump back and fourth between what is real and what is falsified. She elaborates that this ability defines film as its own art form, different from any other medium. It is clear that Deren is not concerned with showing the world everyday reality. Both of her films are not as much narrative pieces, as they are expressions of art. After one screening, it was very difficult to understand what the main objectives were in either film. However, upon further investigation, and taking into account all of Deren’s viewpoints such as the controlled accident, manipulation of time and space, and different editing techniques, the themes became much more clear.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *