Researching, brainstorming and otherwise seeking inspiration tonight and I always fall back to Maya Deren. She’s been the most consistent influence on me as a filmmaker and storyteller, and her experimental film AT LAND is definitely my favorite. I hear so many conversations in her visuals. In turn, I find myself often devising ways to tell stories without speaking, whether it’s an entire film (“The Silent Nick and Nora“) or just a moment – as when Titania communicates with Nicholas in the Dream Scene. Deren uses metaphor, dance, repetition – all to get an idea into your mind. And she she wrote, shot, directed, starred in most of her own films. She’s a fascinating woman who spent a lot of time in Haiti and became a devotee of Voudoun.
She also frequently used the imagery of doppelgangers as a way to examine your own subjectivity. If you look through my films and photos – you’ll see that a lot. I owe much to her and once again am drawing on her visions to inspire a new one of my own – that I’ll start filming later this year. So, when my film HELL premiered at the Maya Deren Theater at the Anthology Film Archives (NY) three years – you could say it was a “moment”. *wink*
Tonight, I’ll share AT LAND – and if you’re not familiar I hope you’ll continue to discover her work. If you want to get really thick – read “The Essential Deren”, a collection of her essays on film/film theory that is a mainstay on my nightstand.
HELL premiere, Anthology Film Archives, Oct. 2013.