Meshes of the Afternoon
December 17, 2008 6:43 PM   Subscribe

Meshes of the Afternoon, part 1 and part 2. The seminal 1943 avant-garde film by Maya Deren (previously on MetaFilter).
posted by hermitosis (18 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
This is all very proto-Lynchian. I feel like Laura Dern is going to pop out at any moment talking backwards.
posted by thankyoujohnnyfever at 6:53 PM on December 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

I love Maya Deren. Her life was cut way too short.
posted by scarello at 6:58 PM on December 17, 2008

IIRC, it was an inspiration for a Doom Patrol storyline by Grant Morrison.

Plus, it brings back fond memories of film 101, so thanks for the memories. If there were links to Un Chien Andalou and La Jetee, it would be like an experimental film hat trick.
posted by drezdn at 7:00 PM on December 17, 2008

Great. Thanks for this.
posted by hifiparasol at 7:00 PM on December 17, 2008

One of my dreams is to perform Meshes as a 2-person pantomime on a subway platform. Love it.
posted by jtron at 7:10 PM on December 17, 2008

Fantastic stuff. Though it's At Land that truly captured my heart.
posted by malocchio at 7:16 PM on December 17, 2008

Have not seen this since film school.
posted by flipyourwig at 7:51 PM on December 17, 2008

Yeah, I saw this in a film class, and my professor was a big fan of Maya Deren. He could talk about her for hours.
posted by zardoz at 8:24 PM on December 17, 2008

Major, major crush on MD. A couple of interesting data points: a) her interest in voodoo, eventually becoming a practitioner, her book and film on the subject, Divine Horsemen; b) her appearance in James Merrill's long poem The Changing Light at Sandover.
posted by flotson at 8:40 PM on December 17, 2008

Ooh, I love, love Maya Deren. 2nding Divine Horsemen; some shots in that are just crazy good.

Godflesh also dropped a few Deren lifts in their cover art.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:47 PM on December 17, 2008

Well, that wasn't at all intensely uncomfortable or anything.

posted by katillathehun at 10:45 PM on December 17, 2008

I remember this from college. It was my theory that the word "Meshes" was an anagram (me, she, he), accounting for the ambiguity of perspective in the film.
posted by DaddyNewt at 6:24 AM on December 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

Ah, but I love Deren.

DaddyNewt -- oh, very cool! My take on it was always more voodoo-centered. Meshes are little candles/lights, made of cotton soaked in oil and left to float in a dish of water, to give the effect of a little plate of light on water. They're kind of an offering, and a prayer. (And making meshes and then sleeping with them, properly, in a temple space, is absolutely beautiful.) It's been awhile since I've watched the film (soon to be fixed...), but I can see Maya offering herself up as a kind of living prayer/offering, the way meshes are.
posted by kalimac at 7:40 AM on December 18, 2008

As by requested by drezdn, Un chien Andalou and La Jette. Thanks for mentioning the latter, I'd never heard of it!
posted by ver at 7:44 AM on December 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

Her films and other great black and white short films are best if viewed in near total darkness as in a movie house.
posted by doctorschlock at 7:48 AM on December 18, 2008

Thanks for this! I had never heard of Deren. I love the dreamlike quality of Meshes of the Afternoon. I'm sure there could be a lot of interpretation and analysis, but I really like just letting it wash over me. It's the kind of situation I could easily picture myself dreaming, and waking up all weirded out.

The mirror-face guy was really cool, too.
posted by owtytrof at 12:55 PM on December 18, 2008

Oh awesome!! That was the very first avant garde I saw. My film professor then proceeded through a half dozen music videos that ripped it off... or paid an homage.

Obligatory mention: Also, ver, La Jette was the inspiration for 12 Monkeys.
posted by FuManchu at 2:24 PM on December 19, 2008

Sorry what was the Doom Patrol story that cites this?
posted by kensanway at 10:30 AM on December 20, 2008

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