All posts by Shqiponja Miftari


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.


Tom Tykwer’s film Run Lola Run, utilizes the concepts of time, destiny, and fate to portray a story of two lovers in an unfortunate and seemingly impossible situation. At the beginning of the film, two quotes are presented; one from T.S Elliot and one from Herberger. T.S Elliot’s quote dealt with the concept of exploration and time as a cyclical process, whereas Herberger’s statement referenced life as a game. Although the two quotes seem rather unrelated, when brought together in the context of the film, they shape the main message depicted in the story.

In addition to the clever and rich depth of the storyline itself, the use of various editing and filming techniques made it visually pleasing as well. The use of a flashback scene in the beginning of the film effectively set the pace of the story as well as setting up a clear and understandable context for the rest of the film. Furthermore, the butterfly snapshots sequences of random strangers lives at first seemed random, but later added to the underlying theme of how choices affect our destiny. Maya Deren’s message about how editing enables a creator to dictate a new reality is revealed in this film in various subtle manners. For example, Deren uses the example of making a staircase seem longer than it is simply by varying the film angle used and this similar technique is used in the scene of the telephone falling back to its original position. Overall, this fast paced action film was highly entertaining and well made.

Artificiality of Cinema vs. Reality of Production

The title of Truffaut’s “La Nui Americaine”, meaning Day of night, originates from an American film technique in which a scene is filmed during the day, and then in post production made to look like it was shot at night. The significance of the title represents the artificiality of cinema. Throughout the film, various illusions are created such as the use of the stunt double, the candle light trick and much more. Film is a revolutionary medium because of its ability to create deceptions that would otherwise be realistically impossible. In Munsterberg’s “Why we go to the Movies,” he highlights the same principal; film surpasses the limits of reality, which is why they are so entertaining and why they differ greatly from theater productions.

While special effects and grand illusions can be simulated in a film, hard work and devotion off screen, can not be. One theme that was presented throughout the piece was the overwhelming amount of effort and dedication required in the filmmaking industry. Issues such as time constraints, uncooperative casts, and restless nights only scratch the surface in the grand realm of practical issues that arise during filmmaking. At various points, it felt as though, for some characters, the film they were working on, “Meet Pamela,” was more important than real life. One lady on set even stated “I’d drop a man for a film but I’d never drop a film for a man” indicating that films are more of a priority than aspects of her own personal life. For Ferrand, the director, his devotion is unprecedented and even conflicts with his sleep. Having had personal experience with film production on a much smaller scale, I was always aware of the daunting amount of innovation and commitment required in this field; however, it is always shocking to be reminded of how much work is poured into a full-length feature.