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Essential Maya Deren

(Directed by Maya Deren, 9 films, 1943-1959)


Bafflingly overlooked in the male-dominated canon of cinema history, Maya Deren forged an immensely unique and stunning body of work that is pleading for its due recognition. 

Writing, directing, and editing nearly all of her short film works, and starring in many, Deren’s experimental spirit, love of choreography, and daring anti-narrative style transcended film, figuring more in the NY Dance and European emigre Art scenes of the day than the manufactured glamour of the Hollywood aesthetic. 

Moving from bohemian Greenwich Village to L.A. to start a career in photography and poetry, Deren soon discovered her pursuits were best-suited for film. But rather than creating work for Hollywood, Deren rejected wholeheartedly the industry’s conceits and practices, stating “I make my pictures for what Hollywood spends on lipstick.” Her thrifty approach, however, never sacrificed visual quality, as her films would be stunning achievements on any budget — Deren’s vision was so distinctive, yet relatable, that all she needed was a 16mm camera and a little inspiration.

Meshes Of The Afternoon

Directed by Maya Deren (1943)

At Land

Directed by Maya Deren (1944)

The Private Life Of A Cat

Directed by Maya Deren (1944)

The Witch's Cradle

Directed by Stephen McCoy (1944)

A Study In Choreography For Camera

Directed by Maya Deren (1945)

Ritual In Transfigured Time

Directed by Maya Deren (1946)

Meditation On Violence

Directed by Maya Deren (1948)

Divine Horsemen: Living Gods Of Haiti

Directed by Maya Deren (1954)

The Very Eye Of Night

Directed by Maya Deren (1959)