Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bits Of Inspiration ~ Maya Deren

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today I want to share Maya Deren with you and hope her innovative approach to film art will inspire you.

Maya Deren (April 29, 1917 – October 13, 1961), born Eleanora Derenkowskaia (Russian:Элеоно́ра Деренко́вская), was one of the most important American experimental filmmakers and entrepreneurial promoters of the avant-garde in the 1940s and 1950s. Deren was also a choreographer, dancer, film theorist, poet, lecturer, writer and photographer.
The function of film, Deren believed, like most art forms, was to create an experience; each one of her films would evoke new conclusions, lending her focus to be dynamic and always-evolving. She combined her interests in dance, voodoo and subjective psychology in a series of surreal, perceptual, black and white short films. Using editing, multiple exposures, jump cutting, superimposition, slow-motion and other camera techniques to her fullest advantage, Deren creates continued motion through discontinued space, while abandoning the established notions of physical space and time, with the ability to turn her vision into a stream of consciousness. (Wikipedia)

In reading about Maya I found agreement between different sources that Meshes of the Afternoon is one of the most influential experimental films in American cinema.

She was also a poet. The following are excerpts from two of her poems.

It Must Be Done with Mirrors 

It must be done with mirrors 
my head that rests on nothing in mid-air. 


When rains come down to flood the town 
And earnest citizens really ought’er 
try to make and keep things sort’er 
 I make water
 You can find the complete poems here.

So today I hope Maya Deren will inspire you. I have offered a triptych for you to choose from.  Select a photograph, her movie, or her poetry (or all three) and create a new poem. Please add it to Mr. Linky and please visit your fellow poets.


Lolamouse said...

Wow. I'm totally freaked now! I see traces of Ms. Deren's influence everywhere now.

hedgewitch said...

This is really some fascinating stuff, Susie. 'Meshes' reminds me of the way dreams work, yet it is so obviously going on from dream into darker and richer places, too. Will see what I can do--I find this very intriguing. Thanks!

Susie Clevenger said...

@Lolamouse, I know what you mean.

Susie Clevenger said...

@Hegdewitch, I've watched Meshes a few times and with each viewing I saw elements I missed.

Susan said...

Today I am under the weight of a wonderful small group worship on the topic of intentionality--which withstood the bombardment of Maya's amazing images. What an amazing film!

Susie Clevenger said...

@Thank you Susan. Maya had amazing vision.

Hannah said...

SO intriguing!! Thank you for bringing, Maya to us!! I'll be back to read...need some sun now though. :) Catch him while he's shining!

Susie Clevenger said...

@Hannah, you are welcome.

Grace said...

Thanks for introducing her work Susie ~ That film is just outstanding ~

Susie Clevenger said...

@You are welcome Grace

Jim said...

I liked the movie you found, Susie. And the poems too. They are a nice starting place for us. Thank you, I learned of another artist today. (BTW, Mrs. Jim's mom was also born in 1917.)

I can write about 'making water' and 'things no one else sees' but my fingers today couldn't find the right keys to put in the suspense that Maya Deren built into her works. Perhaps it's humor that crept into my thinking.
Sorry I didn't do very well on this, in capturing the moods of Maya.

Susie Clevenger said...

@Jim, you did a great job. Maya's work was posted to inspire. And it inspired your poem. I can write from a dark place, but struggle with writing lighter pieces.

avalon said...

Hello Susie,
I'm a bit late, but it took me a while to get it together.
Hope this is vaguely what you had in mind.

Susie Clevenger said...

@Jo-hanna It was perfect!