EXPERIMENTAL FILM MAKERS
A CASE STUDY ON MAYA DEREN
Maya Deren is a Ukrainian-born American experimental filmmaker.
She a choreographer, dancer, film theorist, poet, lecturer, writer, and photographer.
MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON
Meshes of the afternoon revolves around female protagonist figuring out the identity of a mirror faced human, and the person out there who wants to kill her. The film opens up with her returning home and falling asleep on a chair. She thus enters her dreamscape and chases a black figure, who is the mirrored faced human.
She fails to reach the mirrored face human and gets caught in a loop, each time the settings feel more and more distant. Several motifs reappear in these loops, but is sometimes changed or something else, or are in different places.
Maya Deren plays with editing, slow motion and repeated camera angles to get the loops concept through, this further enhances the acting, making this film seem even more surreal. She plays heavily on confusion as the story unfolds. The positions of the actors, too, also played around with reality and the dreamscape through repetition.
Ultimately the female protagonist saw the actual murderer’s action in her dreamscape, she tries to fend for herself but failed. In the real world, the man returned home to see the female protagonist dead, instead of sleeping. We would get to see this mesmerising experimental style on dreamscapes again in her other project ‘At Land’.
At land is an experimental film directed and starred by Maya Deren. It revolves around a female protagonist getting heavily entangled in her own dreamscape. She first gets washed up by a shore, and wanders about different locations and situations and even seeing other versions of herself. Deren mentioned that this film was about the struggle to maintain one’s personality.
The film’s constant edit of the female protagonist in different places and how it is represented after she leaves place is constantly shifting the audience’s minds and doesn’t allow their minds to rest and consider the full setting of the film. The act of adding several versions of herself, past, current or future makes this film surreal and mesmerising in its own quirky way as she meshes edits and play around with storytelling. The film also uses symbolisms. A notable one being established in a scene of a chess game where the frustrated female protagonist finally reaches to the table of chess, but to have the male player turn away from her. She then goes on a journey to chase for that piece of chess. This game of chess later appears in another scene where the the female protagonist distracts the gossiping players to steal the missing piece and then run away along the beach, passing by her other selfs.
Ultimately this film is a joy to watch. The dreamscape concept is expressed so well as many settings looks familiar yet distant, either through editing or prop setting.
HOW CAN I APPLY THIS TO A CAMPAIGN?
I feel that the multiple similar edit in can be used for e-commercial applications like shoppe. The often changing settings can be used for travelling campaigns. The interesting and surrealistic way she cuts and angles her footage is mesmerising and well, and can be applied on any campaign depending on the content.
THANKS FOR VIEWING!