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Maya Deren

Maya Deren
Deren in the film Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), her debut
Eleonora Derenkovska

May 12 [O.S. April 29] 1917
DiedOctober 13, 1961(1961-10-13) (aged 44)
Alma mater
Known forExperimental film
Notable workFilms:Books:
MovementAméricain Avant-Garde
Gregory Bardacke
(m. 1935; div. 1939)
(m. 1942; div. 1947)
(m. 1960)

Maya Deren (born Eleonora Derenkovskaya, Ukrainian: Елеоно́ра Деренко́вська; May 12 [O.S. April 29] 1917[1][2] – October 13, 1961) was a Ukrainian-born (then part of the Russian Empire, now independent Ukraine) American experimental filmmaker and important part of the avant-garde in the 1940s and 1950s. Deren was also a choreographer, dancer, film theorist, poet, lecturer, writer, and photographer.

The function of film, Deren believed, was to create an experience.[3] She combined her expertise in dance and choreography, ethnography, the African spirit religion of Haitian Vodou, symbolist poetry and gestalt psychology (as a student of Kurt Koffka) in a series of perceptual, black-and-white short films. Using editing, multiple exposures, jump-cutting, superimposition, slow-motion, and other camera techniques to her advantage, Deren abandoned established notions of physical space and time, innovating through carefully planned films with specific conceptual aims.[4][5]

Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), her collaboration with her husband at the time, Alexander Hammid, has been one of the most influential experimental films in American cinema history. Deren went on to make several more films, including but not limited to At Land (1944), A Study in Choreography for Camera (1945), and Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946), writing, producing, directing, editing, and photographing them with help from only one other person, Hella Heyman, her camerawoman.

Early life

Deren was born May 12 [O.S. April 29] 1917 in Kyiv, Ukraine, Russian Empire, now independent Ukraine, into a Jewish family,[6] to psychologist Solomon Derenkowsky and Gitel-Malka (Marie) Fiedler,[1] who supposedly named their daughter after Italian actress Eleonora Duse.[7][8]

In 1922, the family fled the Ukrainian SSR because of antisemitic pogroms perpetrated by the White Volunteer Army and moved to Syracuse, New York. Her father shortened the family name from Derenkovskaya to "Deren" shortly after they arrived in New York.[9][10] He became the staff psychiatrist at the State Institute for the Feeble-Minded in Syracuse.[11] Deren's mother was a musician and dancer who had studied these arts in Kyiv.[10] In 1928, Deren's parents became naturalized citizens of the United States.[6]

Deren was highly intelligent, starting fifth grade at only eight years old.[10] She attended the League of Nations International School of Geneva, Switzerland for high school from 1930 to 1933.[12] Her mother moved to Paris, France to be nearer to her while she studied. Deren learned to speak French while she was abroad.[13]

Deren enrolled at Syracuse University at sixteen, where she began studying journalism and political science.[14][10] Deren became a highly active socialist activist during the Trotskyist movement in her late teens.[4] She served as National Student Secretary in the National Student office of the Young People's Socialist League and was a member of the Social Problems Club at Syracuse University.

At age eighteen in June 1935, she married Gregory Bardacke, a socialist activist whom she met through the Social Problems Club.[4] After his graduation in 1935, she moved to New York City. She finished school at New York University with a Bachelor's degree in literature in June 1936, and returned to Syracuse that fall.[9] She and Bardacke became active in various socialist causes in New York City; and it was during this time that they separated and eventually divorced three years later.[15]

In 1938, Deren attended the New School for Social Research, and received a master's degree in English literature at Smith College.[16] Her Master's thesis was titled The Influence of the French Symbolist School on Anglo-American Poetry (1939).[17] This included works of Pound, Eliot, and the Imagists. By the age of 21, Deren had earned two degrees in literature.[13]

Early career

After graduation from Smith, Deren returned to New York's Greenwich Village, where she joined the European émigré art scene.[18] She supported herself from 1937 to 1939 by freelance writing for radio shows and foreign-language newspapers. During that time she also worked as an editorial assistant to famous American writers Eda Lou Walton, Max Eastman, and then William Seabrook.[4] She wrote poetry and short fiction, tried her hand at writing a commercial novel, and also translated a work by Victor Serge which was never published.[10] She became known for her European-style handmade clothes, wild red curly hair and fierce convictions.[9][19]

In 1940, Deren moved to Los Angeles to focus on her poetry and freelance photography. In 1941, Deren wrote to Katherine Dunham—an African American dancer, choreographer, and anthropologist of Caribbean culture and dance—suggesting a children's book on dance and applying for a managerial job for her and her dance troupe; she later became Dunham's assistant and publicist. Deren travelled with the troupe for a year, learning greater appreciation for dance, as well as interest and appreciation for Haitian culture.[10] Dunham's fieldwork influenced Deren's studies of Haitian culture and Vodou mythology.[20][19] At the end of touring a new musical Cabin in the Sky, the Dunham dance company stopped in Los Angeles for several months to work in Hollywood. It was there that Deren met Alexandr Hackenschmied (who later changed his name to Alexander Hammid), a celebrated Czech-born photographer and cameraman who would become Deren's second husband in 1942. Hackenschmied had fled from Czechoslovakia in 1938 after the Sudetenland crisis.

Deren and Hammid lived together in Laurel Canyon, where he helped her with her still photography which focused on local fruit pickers in Los Angeles.[4] Of two still photography magazine assignments of 1943 to depict artists active in New York City, including Ossip Zadkine, her photographs appeared in the Vogue magazine article.[21] The other article intended for Mademoiselle magazine was not published,[22] but three signed enlargements of photographs intended for this article, all depicting Deren's friend New York ceramist Carol Janeway, are preserved in the MoMA[23] and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.[24][25] All prints were from Janeway's estate.[26]

Personal life

In 1943, she moved to a bungalow on Kings Road in Hollywood[4] and adopted the name Maya, a pet name her second husband Hammid coined. Maya is the name of the mother of the historical Buddha as well as the dharmic concept of the illusory nature of reality. In Greek myth, Maia is the mother of Hermes and a goddess of mountains and fields.

In 1944, back in New York City, her social circle included Marcel Duchamp, André Breton, John Cage, and Anaïs Nin.[27] In 1944, Deren filmed The Witch's Cradle in Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century gallery with Duchamp featured in the film.

In the December 1946 issue of Esquire magazine, a caption for her photograph teased that she "experiments with motion pictures of the subconscious, but here is finite evidence that the lady herself is infinitely photogenic."[28] Her third husband, Teiji Itō, said: "Maya was always a Russian. In Haiti she was a Russian. She was always dressed up, talking, speaking many languages and being a Russian."[28]

Film career

Deren defined cinema as an art, provided an intellectual context for film viewing, and filled a theoretical gap for the kinds of independent films that film societies were featuring.[29] As Sarah Keller states, “Maya Deren lays claim to the honor of being one of the most important pioneers of the American film avant-garde with a scant seventy-five or so minutes of finished films to her credit.”[30]

Deren began to screen and distribute her films in the United States, Canada, and Cuba, lecturing and writing on avant-garde film theory, and additionally on Vodou. In February 1946 she booked the Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village for a major public exhibition, titled Three Abandoned Films, in which she showed Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), At Land (1944) and A Study in Choreography for Camera (1945).[15] The event was completely sold out, inspiring Amos Vogel's formation of Cinema 16, the most successful film society of the 1950s.[31]

In 1946, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for "Creative Work in the Field of Motion Pictures", and in 1947, won the Grand Prix International for avant-garde film at the Cannes Film Festival for Meshes of the Afternoon. She then created a scholarship for experimental filmmakers, the Creative Film Foundation.[32]

Between 1952 and 1955, Deren collaborated with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School and Antony Tudor to create The Very Eye of Night.

Deren's background and interest in dance appears in her work, most notably in the short film A Study in Choreography for Camera (1945). This combination of dance and film has often been referred to as "choreocinema", a term first coined by American dance critic John Martin.[33]

In her work, she often focused on the unconscious experience, such as in Meshes of the Afternoon. This is thought to be inspired by her father who was a student of psychiatrist Vladimir Bekhterev who explored trance and hypnosis as neurological states.[34] She also regularly explored themes of gender identity, incorporating elements of introspection and mythology. Despite her feminist subtext, she was mostly unrecognized by feminist writers at the time, even influential writers Claire Johnston and Laura Mulvey ignored Deren at the time,[35] though Mulvey later would give Deren this recognition, since their works were often in conversation with each other.[36]

Major films

Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)

Deren in Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)

In 1943, Deren purchased a used 16mm Bolex camera with some of the inheritance money after her father's death from a heart attack. This camera was used to make her first and best-known film, Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), made in collaboration with Hammid in their Los Angeles home on a budget of $250.[5] Meshes of the Afternoon is recognized as a seminal American avant-garde film. Critics have seen autobiographical elements in the film, as well as thoughts about woman as subject rather than as object. Originally a silent film with no dialogue, music for the film was composed, long after its initial screenings, by Deren's third husband Teiji Itō in 1952. The film can be described as an expressionistic "trance film", full of dramatic angles and innovative editing. It investigates the ephemeral ways in which the protagonist's unconscious mind works and makes connections between objects and situations. A woman, played by Maya Deren, walks up to a house in Los Angeles, falls asleep and seems to have a dream. The sequence of walking up to the gate on the partially shaded road restarts numerous times, resisting conventional narrative expectations, and ends in various situations inside the house. Movement from the wind, shadows and the music sustain the heartbeat of the dream. Recurring symbols include a cloaked figure, mirrors, a key, and a knife.

The loose repetition and rhythm cut short any expectation of a conventional narrative, heightening the dream-like qualities. The camera initially does not show her face, which precludes identification with a particular woman, which creates a universalizing, totalizing effect- as it is easier to relate to an unknown, faceless woman. Multiple selves appear, shifting between the first and third person, suggesting that the super-ego is at play, which is in line with the psychoanalytic Freudian staircase and flower motifs. This kind of Freudian interpretation, which she disagreed with, led Deren to add sound, composed by Teiji Itō, to the film.

Another interpretation is that each film is an example of a "personal film". Her first film, Meshes of the Afternoon, explores a woman's subjectivity and relation to the external world. Georges Sadoul said Deren may have been "the most important figure in the post-war development of the personal, independent film in the U.S.A."[37] In featuring the filmmaker as the woman whose subjectivity in the domestic space is explored, the feminist dictum "the personal is political" is foregrounded. As with her other films on self-representation, Deren navigates conflicting tendencies of the self and the "other", through doubling, multiplication and merging of the woman in the film. Following a dreamlike quest with allegorical complexity, Meshes of the Afternoon has an enigmatic structure and a loose affinity with both film noir and domestic melodrama.[9] The film is famous for how it resonated with Deren's own life and anxieties. According to a review in The Moving Image, "this film emerges from a set of concerns and passionate commitments that are native to Deren's life and her trajectory. The first of these trajectories is Deren's interest in socialism during her youth and university years".[38]

Director's notes

There is no concrete information about the conception of Meshes of the Afternoon beyond that Deren offered the poetic ideas and Hammid was able to turn them into visuals, as she envisioned them. Deren's initial concept began on the terms of a subjective camera, one that would show the point of view of herself without the aid of mirrors and would move as her eyes through spaces. According to the earliest program note, she describes Meshes of the Afternoon as follows:

This film is concerned with the interior experiences of an individual. It does not record an event which could be witnessed by other persons. Rather, it reproduces the way in which the subconscious of an individual will develop, interpret, and elaborate an apparently simple and casual incident into a critical emotional experience.

At Land (1944)

Deren in a still from the film At Land (1944)

Deren filmed At Land in Port Jefferson and Amagansett, New York in the summer of 1944. Taking on more of an environmental psychologist's perspective, Deren "externalizes the hidden dynamic of the external if I had moved from a concern with the life of the fish, to a concern with the sea which accounts for the character of the fish and its life."[37] Maya Deren washes up on the shore of the beach, and climbs up a piece of driftwood that leads to a room lit by chandeliers, and one long table filled with men and women smoking. She seems to be invisible to the people as she crawls across the table, uninhibited; her body continues seamlessly again onto a new frame, crawling through foliage; following the flowing pattern of water on rocks; following a man across a farm, to a sick man in bed, through a series of doors, and finally popping up outside on a cliff. She shrinks in the wide frame as she walks farther away from the camera, up and down sand dunes, then frantically collecting rocks back on the shore. Her expression seems confused when she sees two women playing chess in the sand. She runs back through the entire sequence, and because of the jump-cuts, it seems as though she is a double or "doppelganger", where her earlier self sees her other self running through the scene. Some of her movements are controlled, suggesting a theatrical, dancer-like quality, while some have an almost animalistic sensibility as she crawls through the seemingly foreign environments. This is one of Deren's films in which the focus is on the character's exploration of her own subjectivity in her physical environment, inside as well as outside her subconscious, although it has a similar amorphous quality compared to her other films.

A Study in Choreography for Camera (1945)

Still from A Study in Choreography for Camera

In the spring of 1945 she made A Study in Choreography for Camera, which Deren said was "an effort to isolate and celebrate the principle of the power of movement."[37] The compositions and varying speeds of movement within the frame inform and interact with Deren's meticulous edits and varying film speeds and motions to create a dance that Deren said could only exist on film. Excited by the way the dynamic of movement is greater than anything else within the film, Maya established a completely new sense of the word "geography" as the movement of the dancer transcends and manipulates the ideas of both time and space.[37]

"For Deren, no transition is needed between a place outside (such as a forest, or a park, or the beach) and an interior room. One action can be performed across different physical spaces, as in A Study in Choreography For Camera (1945), and in this way sews together layers of reality, thereby suggesting continuity between different levels of consciousness."[39]

At just under 3 minutes long, A Study in Choreography for Camera is a fragment depicting a carefully constructed exploration of a man who dances in a forest, and then seems to teleport to the inside of a house because of how continuous his movements are from one place to the next. The edit is broken, choppy, showing different angles and compositions, and even with parts in slow-motion, Deren is able to keep the quality of the leap smooth and seemingly uninterrupted. The choreography is perfectly synched as he seamlessly appears in an outdoor courtyard and then returns to an open, natural space. It shows a progression from nature to the confines of society, and back to nature. The figure belongs to dancer and choreographer Talley Beatty, whose last movement is a leap across the screen back to the natural world. Deren and Beatty met through Katherine Dunham, while Deren was her assistant and Beatty was a dancer in her company.[40] It is worth noting that Beatty collaborated heavily with Deren in the creation of this film, hence why he is credited alongside Deren in the film's credit sequence.[34] The film is also subtitled 'Pas de Deux', a dance term referring to a dance between two people, or in this case, a collaboration between Deren and Beatty.[34]

A Study in Choreography for Camera was one of the first experimental dance films to be featured in the New York Times as well as Dance Magazine.[34]

Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946)

By her fourth film, Deren discussed in An Anagram that she felt special attention should be given to unique possibilities of time and that the form should be ritualistic as a whole. Ritual in Transfigured Time began in August and was completed in 1946. It explored the fear of rejection and the freedom of expression in abandoning ritual, looking at the details as well as the bigger ideas of the nature and process of change. The main roles were played by Deren herself and the dancers Rita Christiani and Frank Westbrook.[41]

Meditation on Violence (1948)

Deren's Meditation on Violence was made in 1948. Chao-Li Chi's performance obscures the distinction between violence and beauty. It was an attempt to "abstract the principle of ongoing metamorphosis", found in Ritual in Transfigured Time, though Deren felt it was not as successful in the clarity of that idea, brought down by its philosophical weight.[37] Halfway through the film, the sequence is rewound, producing a film loop.

Criticism of Hollywood

Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, Deren attacked Hollywood for its artistic, political and economic monopoly over American cinema. She stated, "I make my pictures for what Hollywood spends on lipstick," criticizing the amount of money spent on production. She also observed that Hollywood "has been a major obstacle to the definition and development of motion pictures as a creative fine-art form." She set herself in opposition to the Hollywood film industry's standards and practices.[42] Deren talks about the freedoms of independent cinema:

Artistic freedom means that the amateur filmmaker is never forced to sacrifice visual drama and beauty to a stream of the relentless activity and explanations of a plot...nor is the amateur production expected to return profit on a huge investment by holding the attention of a massive and motley audience for 90 minutes...Instead of trying to invent a plot that moves, use the movement of wind, or water, children, people, elevators, balls, etc. as a poem might celebrate these. And use your freedom to experiment with visual ideas; your mistakes will not get you fired.[43]

Haiti and Vodou

When Maya Deren decided to make an ethnographic film in Haiti, she was criticized for abandoning avant-garde film where she had made her name, but she was ready to expand to a new level as an artist.[44][45] She had studied ethnographic footage by Gregory Bateson in Bali in 1947, and was interested in including it in her next film.[4] In September, she divorced Hammid and left for a nine-month stay in Haiti. The Guggenheim Fellowship grant in 1946 enabled Deren to finance her travel and film footage for what would posthumously become Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti. She went on three additional trips through 1954 to document and record the rituals of Haitian Vodou.

A source of inspiration for ritual dance was Katherine Dunham who wrote her master's thesis on Haitian dances in 1939, which Deren edited. While working as Dunham's assistant, Deren was given access to Dunham's archive which included 16mm documents on the dances in Trinidad and Haiti. Exposure to these documents led her to write her 1942 essay titled, "Religious Possession in Dancing."[46] Afterwards, Deren wrote several articles on religious possession in dancing before her first trip to Haiti.[47] Deren filmed, recorded and photographed many hours of Vodou ritual, but she also participated in the ceremonies. She documented her knowledge and experience of Vodou in Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti (New York: Vanguard Press, 1953), edited by Joseph Campbell, which is considered a definitive source on the subject. She described her attraction to Vodou possession ceremonies, transformation, dance, play, games and especially ritual came from her strong feeling on the need to decenter our thoughts of self, ego and personality.[9] In her book An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form, and Film she wrote:

The ritualistic form treats the human being not as the source of the dramatic action, but as a somewhat depersonalized element in a dramatic whole. The intent of such depersonalization is not the destruction of the individual; on the contrary, it enlarges him beyond the personal dimension and frees him from the specializations and confines of personality. He becomes part of a dynamic whole which, like all such creative relationships, in turn, endow its parts with a measure of its larger meaning.[3]

Deren filmed 18,000 feet of Vodou rituals and people she met in Haiti on her Bolex camera.[48] The footage was incorporated into a posthumous documentary film Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti, edited and produced in 1977 (with funding from Deren's friend James Merrill) by her ex-husband, Teiji Itō (1935–1982), and his wife Cherel Winett Itō (1947–1999).[49][50][51] All of the original wire recordings, photographs and notes are held in the Maya Deren Collection at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University. The film footage is housed at Anthology Film Archives in New York City.

An LP of some of Deren's wire recordings was published by the newly formed Elektra Records in 1953 entitled Voices of Haiti. The cover art for the album was by Teiji Itō.[52]

Anthropologists Melville Herkovitz and Harold Courlander acknowledged the importance of Divine Horsemen, and in contemporary studies it is often cited as an authoritative voice, where Deren's methodology has been especially praised because "Vodou has resisted all orthodoxies, never mistaking surface representations for inner realities."[53]

In her book of the same name[54] Deren uses the spelling Voudoun, explaining: "Voudoun terminology, titles and ceremonies still make use of the original African words and in this book they have been spelled out according to usual English phonetics and so as to render, as closely as possible, the Haitian pronunciation. Most of the songs, sayings and even some of the religious terms, however, are in Creole, which is primarily French in derivation (although it also contains African, Spanish and Indian words). Where the Creole word retains its French meaning, it has been written out so as to indicate both the original French word and the distinctive Creole pronunciation." In her Glossary of Creole Words, Deren includes 'Voudoun' while the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary[55] draws attention to the similar French word, Vaudoux.


Deren died in 1961, at the age of 44 from a brain hemorrhage, which has been attributed to a combination of malnutrition and drug use.[56] Her condition may have also been weakened by her long-term dependence on amphetamines and sleeping pills prescribed by Max Jacobson, a doctor and member of the arts scene, notorious for his liberal prescription of drugs,[9] who later became famous as one of President John F. Kennedy's physicians.

Her ashes were scattered in Japan at Mount Fuji.[citation needed]


Deren was an inspiration to such up-and-coming avant-garde filmmakers as Curtis Harrington, Stan Brakhage, and Kenneth Anger, who emulated her independent, entrepreneurial spirit. Her influence can also be seen in films by Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer, and Su Friedrich.[20] In his review for renowned experimental filmmaker David Lynch's Inland Empire, writer Jim Emerson compares the work to Meshes of the Afternoon, apparently a favorite of Lynch's.[57]

Deren was a key figure in the creation of a New American Cinema, highlighting personal, experimental, underground film. In 1986, the American Film Institute created the Maya Deren Award to honor independent filmmakers.

The Legend of Maya Deren, Vol. 1 Part 2 consists of hundreds of documents, interviews, oral histories, letters, and autobiographical memoirs.[9]

Works about Deren and her works have been produced in various media:

  • Deren appears as a character in the long narrative poem The Changing Light at Sandover (1976-1980) by her friend James Merrill.
  • In 1987, Jo Ann Kaplan directed a biographical documentary about Deren, titled Invocation: Maya Deren (65 min)
  • In 1994, the UK-based Horse and Bamboo Theatre created and toured Dance of White Darkness throughout Europe—the story of Deren's visits to Haiti.
  • In 2002, Martina Kudláček [de] directed a feature-length documentary about Deren, titled In the Mirror of Maya Deren (Im Spiegel der Maya Deren), which featured music by John Zorn.

Deren's films have also been shown with newly written alternative soundtracks:

  • In 2004, the British rock group Subterraneans produced new soundtracks for six of Deren's short films as part of a commission from Queen's University Belfast's annual film festival. At Land won the festival prize for sound design.
  • In 2008, the Portuguese rock group Mão Morta produced new soundtracks for four of Deren's short films as part of a commission from Curtas Vila do Conde's annual film festival.

Awards and honors


Denotes posthumously released
Title Year Credits Notes Ref.
Director Writer Producer Editor
Meshes of the Afternoon 1943 Yes Yes Yes Yes co-directed with Alexander Hammid [56][59]
The Witch's Cradle 1944 Yes Yes No No unfinished [56]
At Land 1944 Yes Yes No No [56]
A Study in Choreography for Camera 1945 Yes No No No solo starring by Talley Beatty [56]
The Private Life of a Cat 1947 Yes No No No Collaboration with Alexander Hammid [59]
Ritual in Transfigured Time 1946 Yes Yes Yes Yes co-edited by Alexander Hammid [56]
Meditation on Violence 1948 Yes Yes Yes No music by Teiji Itō [56]
Medusa 1949 Yes No No No unfinished [59]
Ensemble for Somnambulists 1951 Yes Yes Yes No Toronto Film Society workshop; unreleased, unfinished [59]
The Very Eye of Night 1955 Yes Yes No Yes collaboration with Metropolitan Opera Ballet School [33][56][59][60]
Season of Strangers 1959 Yes No No No also known as Haiku Film Project, unfinished [59]
Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti 1985 Yes No No No Original footage shot by Deren (1947–1954); reconstruction by Teiji and Cherel Itō [56]


Vinyl LPs

Year Artist Title Label Notes
1953 Maya Deren Voices of Haiti Elektra Records Design [cover]: Teiji Itō; recorded during ceremonials near Croix-des-Missions and Pétion-Ville, Haiti[61]
1978 Unknown Meringues and Folk Ballads of Haiti Lyrichord Discs Recorded by Maya Deren[62]
1980 Unknown Divine Horsemen: The Voodoo Gods of Haiti Lyrichord Discs Recorded by Maya Deren; design [cover]: Teiji Itō; liner notes: Cherel Ito[63]

Written works

Deren was also an important film theorist.

  • Her most widely read essay on film theory is probably An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form and Film, Deren's seminal treatise that laid the groundwork for many of her ideas on film as an art form (Yonkers, NY: Alicat Book Shop Press, 1946).
  • Her collected essays were published[64] in 2005 and arranged in three sections:
  1. Film Poetics, including: Amateur versus Professional, Cinema as an Art Form, An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form and Film, Cinematography: The Creative Use of Reality
  2. Film Production, including: Creating Movies with a New Dimension: Time, Creative Cutting, Planning by Eye, Adventures in Creative Film-Making
  3. Film in Medias Res, including: A Letter, Magic is New, New Directions in Film Art, Choreography for the Camera, Ritual in Transfigured Time, Meditation on Violence, The Very Eye of Night.
  • Divine Horsemen: Living Gods of Haiti was published in 1953 by Vanguard Press (New York City) and Thames & Hudson (London), republished under the title of The Voodoo Gods by Paladin in 1975, and again under its original title by McPherson & Company in 1998.

See also


  1. ^ a b Запись о рождении в метрической книге Киевского раввината за 1917 год // ЦГИАК Украины. Ф. 1164. Оп. 1. Д. 161 (517 — по старой нумерации). Л. 73об–74. (russian)
  2. ^ A lot of sources give other dates of birth: April 29, 1917.
  3. ^ a b Deren, Maya (1946). An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form and Film. The Alicat Bookshop Press.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Clark, VèVè; Hudson, Millicent; Neiman, Catrina (1985). Melton, Hollis (ed.). The Legend of Maya Deren: a documentary biography and collected works. Vol. 1, pt. 1, Signatures (1917-42). New York: Anthology Film Archives/Film Culture. ISBN 978-0-91168-914-3.
  5. ^ a b Clark, VeVe A.; Hudson, Millicent; Neiman, Catrina (1988). Melton, Hollis (ed.). The Legend of Maya Deren: A Documentary Biography and Collected Works (Volume 1 Part Two ed.). New York City: Athology Film Archive/Film Culture. ISBN 0-911689-17-6.
  6. ^ a b Nichols 2001, p. 3
  7. ^ Nichols 2001, p. 17
  8. ^ Soussloff 2001, p. 120
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Nichols, Bill, ed. (2001). Maya Deren and the American Avant-Garde: Includes the complete text of An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form, and Film. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 3–10, 268.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Bruce R. McPherson, “Preface,” in, Essential Deren: Collected Writings on Film by Maya Deren, ed. Bruce R. McPherson (New York: McPherson & Company, 2005), 8.
  11. ^ Litoff, Judy Barrett (1994). European Immigrant Women in the United States: A Biographical Dictionary. Taylor & Francis. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-8240-5306-2. Retrieved February 29, 2020 – via GoogleBooks.
  12. ^ James, Jamie (2016). The Glamour of Strangeness: Artists and the Last Age of the Exotic. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 624. ISBN 978-0-374-71132-0. Retrieved February 29, 2020 – via GoogleBooks.
  13. ^ a b Bruce R. McPherson, “Preface,” in, Essential Deren: Collected Writings on Film by Maya Deren, ed. Bruce R. McPherson (New York: McPherson & Company, 2005), 9.
  14. ^ "Maya Deren". Archived from the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  15. ^ a b Sicherman, Barbara; Green, Carol Hurd (1980). Notable American Women: The Modern Period : a Biographical Dictionary. Harvard University Press. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-674-62733-8. Retrieved February 29, 2020 – via GoogleBooks.
  16. ^ Bauer, Laura L. S. (2018). Hollywood Heroines: The Most Influential Women in Film History. ABC-CLIO. pp. 109–110. ISBN 978-1-4408-3649-7. Retrieved February 29, 2020 – via GoogleBooks.
  17. ^ Brill, Olaf (2016). Expressionism in the Cinema. Edinburgh University Press. p. 290. ISBN 978-1-4744-0326-9. Retrieved February 29, 2020 – via GoogleBooks.
  18. ^ Bill Nichols, “Introduction,” in Maya Deren and the American Avant-Garde, ed. Bill Nichols (Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press, 2001), 3.
  19. ^ a b Brody, Richard (November 16, 2022). "How Maya Deren Became the Symbol and Champion of American Experimental Film". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 21, 2023.
  20. ^ a b Berger, Sally (2010). Butler, Connie (ed.). "Maya Deren's Legacy". Modern Women. New York: Museum of Modern Art: 301.
  21. ^ Lerman, Leo (November 1943). "Before the Bandwagons". Vogue.
  22. ^ Clarke, VeVe; Hodson, Millicent; Neiman, Catherine (1988). The Legend of Maya Deren: Volume I Part Two Chambers (1942-47). New York: Anthology film Archives/Film Culture. pp. 136–40.
  23. ^ Maya Deren. "Portrait of Carol Janeway". Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  24. ^ Maya Deren. "Carol Janeway and Zadkine Sculpture".
  25. ^ Maya Deren. "Carol Janeway".
  26. ^ Jenssen, Victoria (2022). The Art of Carol Janeway: A Tile & Ceramics Career with Georg Jensen Inc. and Ossip Zadkine in 1940s Manhattan. Friesen Press. pp. 27–29.
  27. ^ Bauer, Laura L. S. (2018). Hollywood Heroines: The Most Influential Women in Film History. ABC-CLIO. pp. 109–110. ISBN 978-1-4408-3649-7. Retrieved February 29, 2020 – via GoogleBooks.
  28. ^ a b Pramaggiore, Maria (Winter 1997). "Performance and Persona in the U.S. Avant-Garde: The Case of Maya Deren" (PDF). Cinema Journal. 36 (2). University of Texas Press: 17–40. doi:10.2307/1225773. JSTOR 1225773. S2CID 191363914.
  29. ^ Rabinowitz, Lauren (1991). "Maya Deren and an American Avant-garde Cinema". Points of Resistance: Women, Power & Politics in the New York Avant-garde Cinema, 1934–1971. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. pp. 49–91.
  30. ^ Sarah Keller, "Frustrated Climaxes: On Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon and Witch’s Cradle," Cinema Journal 52, no. 3 (Spring 2013): 75.
  31. ^ Macdonald, Scott (2010). Cinema 16: Documents Toward History Of Film Society. Temple University Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-4399-0530-2. Retrieved February 29, 2020 – via GoogleBooks.
  32. ^ "Maya Deren | biography - American director and actress". Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  33. ^ a b Korossi, Georgia (April 28, 2017). "Maya Deren: seven films that guarantee her legend". British Film Institute (BFI). Retrieved December 2, 2021.
  34. ^ a b c d Durkin, Hannah (2013). "Cinematic "Pas de Deux": The Dialogue between Maya Deren's Experimental Filmmaking and Talley Beatty's Black Ballet Dancer in "A Study in Choreography for Camera" (1945)". Journal of American Studies. 47 (2): 385–403. doi:10.1017/S0021875813000121. ISSN 0021-8758. JSTOR 24485526. S2CID 144363190.
  35. ^ Nichols, Bill; Deren, Maya (October 31, 2001). Maya Deren and the American Avant-Garde: Includes the Complete Text of An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form, and Film. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-22732-3.
  36. ^ Geller, Theresa L. (2006). "The Personal Cinema of Maya Deren: "Meshes of the Afternoon" and ITS Critical Reception in the History of the Avant-Garde". Biography. 29 (1): 140–158. ISSN 0162-4962. JSTOR 23541020.
  37. ^ a b c d e Kay, Karyn; Peary, Gerald, eds. (1977). "A Letter to James Card by Maya Deren". Women and the Cinema: A Critical Anthology. New York: Dutton. ISBN 978-0-52547-459-3.
  38. ^ Gadassik, Alla (July 11, 2012). "Meshes of the Afternoon (review)". The Moving Image. 12 (1): 139–142. doi:10.1353/mov.2012.0015. ISSN 1542-4235. S2CID 191487240.
  39. ^ Szperling, Silvina (May 5, 2017). "Ritual in Transfigured Time: Narcisa Hirsch, Sufi Poetry, Ecstatic Dances, and the Female Gaze". The International Journal of Screendance. 3. doi:10.18061/ijsd.v3i0.5710. ISSN 2154-6878.
  40. ^ "Talley Beatty". Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. March 30, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
  41. ^ Nichols, Bill, ed. (2009). Maya Deren and the American Avant-Garde. University of California Press. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-52022-732-3. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  42. ^ Timeline at 2010 MoMA exhibit.
  43. ^ Deren, Maya (1965). "Amateur Versus Professional". Film Culture (39): 45–46.
  44. ^ Sullivan, Moira (2001). "Maya Deren's Ethnographic Representation of Ritual and Magic in Haiti". In Nichols, Bill (ed.). Maya Deren and the American Avantgarde. University of California Press. pp. 207–229. ISBN 9780520227323. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  45. ^ Nichols (2001), page 18. According to Nichols, "Taking up another neglected dimension of Maya Deren's work, Moira Sullivan's "Maya Deren's Ethnographic Representation of Ritual and Magic in Haiti" relies on primary source material in the Maya Deren Archive in Boston and Anthology Film Archives in New York."
  46. ^ Bernardi, Vito Di (December 31, 2018). ""A continuous awakening movement". Note sul choreocinema di Maya Deren". Danza e Ricerca. Laboratorio di Studi, Scritture, Visioni (in Italian). scritture: 161–173. doi:10.6092/issn.2036-1599/8852. ISSN 2036-1599.
  47. ^ A list of these articles are found in : Sullivan, 1997, pp.199-218.
  48. ^ "Maya Deren: seven films that guarantee her legend". British Film Institute. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  49. ^ Sullivan in Nichols (2001), pp.207-229.
  50. ^ "Program notes" from screening at Pacific Film Archive at UC Berkeley.
  51. ^ Paganopoulos, M. (2011). "The Archetype of Transformation in Maya Deren's Film Rituals". In Hauke, Christopher; Hockley, Luke (eds.). Jung and Film II. Routledge. pp. 253–265.
  52. ^ "Master Discography". Elektra Records.
  53. ^ Cosentino, ed., Sacred Arts of Vodou, p.xii. Cited by Sullivan in Nichols (2001), p.225.
  54. ^ Deren, M. (1975). The Voodoo Gods. Paladin. pp. 26 & 305. (A reprint of Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti.)
  55. ^ Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). 1973. See also: Haitian Vodou.
  56. ^ a b c d e f g h i Haslem, Wendy (December 12, 2002). "Great Directors: Maya Deren". Senses of Cinema (23). Retrieved June 19, 2011.
  57. ^ Emerson, Jim. "Go Inland, young woman! | Scanners | Roger Ebert". Retrieved March 5, 2022.
  58. ^ Peyrière, Monique (2007). "Maya Deren et les sciences sociales: quand le cinéma expérimental prend l'avantage sur le documentaire pour affronter la réalité du monde". Sociétés (in French). 2 (96): 41–50. doi:10.3917/soc.096.0041. ISSN 0765-3697.
  59. ^ a b c d e f "In the Mirror of Maya Deren" (PDF). Zeitgeist Films. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 6, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
  60. ^ "The Very Eye of Night". Cinematheque. Archived from the original on March 4, 2021. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  61. ^ "Maya Deren – Voices Of Haiti". Discogs. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  62. ^ "Meringues And Folk Ballads Of Haiti". Discogs. 1980. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  63. ^ "Divine Horsemen - The Voodoo Gods Of Haiti". 1980. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  64. ^ Essential Deren: Collected Writings on Film. McPherson & Co. 2005. ISBN 0-929701-65-8. Retrieved August 24, 2015.

Works cited

  • Brody, Richard (November 16, 2022). "How Maya Deren Became the Symbol and Champion of American Experimental Film". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 21, 2023.
  • Deren, Maya.  Edited by Bruce R. McPherson. New York: McPherson & Company, 2005.
  • Keller, Sarah. "Frustrated Climaxes: On Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon and Witch’s Cradle." Cinema Journal 52, no. 3 (Spring 2013): 75-98.
  • Nichols, Bill, ed. Maya Deren and the American Avant-Garde. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press, 2001.
  • Soussloff, Catherine M. (2001). "Maya Deren Herself". In Nichols, Bill (ed.). Maya Deren and the American Avant-Garde. University of California Press. ISBN 0520227328. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
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Maya Deren
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