A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen.
The surrealist film shows repetitive imagery involving a string fashioned in a bizarre, almost spiderweb-like pattern over the hands of several individuals, most notably an unnamed young woman and an elderly gentleman.
Dancers, shown in photographic negative, perform a series of ballet moves, solos, pas de deux, larger groupings. The dancers glide and rotate untroubled by gravity against a slowly changing... See full summary »
A surrealist tale of a man and a woman who are passionately in love with each other, but their attempts to consummate that passion are constantly thwarted by their families, the Church, and bourgeois society.
Caridad de Laberdesque
After her second divorce, Maya Deren began making trips to Haiti, observing and filming Voudoun rituals and dance, and eventually becoming very involved in Voudoun herself. In 1951, she began a relationship with a 15-year-old Japanese musician, Teiji Ito. Deren was 43 and became both mentor and lover to Ito. They lived in New York and he followed her on her trips to Haiti. By the time Deren had completed filming in Haiti in the mid-1950's, she had shot more than 18,000 feet of film but never completed the editing. She died in 1961 and the unedited Haitian footage was finally edited in the 1980's by her widowed husband, Teiji Ito, and his new wife, Cherel. With a soundtrack by Ito, the completed footage was released in 1985 as this film. Later that year, the American Film Institute established the Maya Deren Award for independent film making. See more »
An Individual and Insightful Engagement with Voudoun
I believe what is fascinating with this work is that the filmmaker maintains both an authentic and insightful depiction of Voudoun whilst incorporating a very specific engagement creating new possibilities and recounting entirely new experiences. Although importantly her study is very informative and is supported by a very detailed book upon the subject, there is much to be said above and beyond pure fact. There is of course a problem identifying Deren's role partaking in the religious ceremonies although she was welcomed by a Voudou priest. It is important to note that she didn't adopt the insulting role of sceptical bystander nor tried to make any allusions to the particular behaviour of various communities partaking in Voudoun, other than those she was able to witness during her time in Haiti. I think this film is extremely eye-opening of the fact that there is much to be said of human behaviour which can only be derived by such phenomenology as is demonstrated by this film.
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