Meshes of the Afternoon

Maya Deren (1943)

Maya Deren, the director of the film, described it not as an event to be witnessed but how the subconscious of a person will develop, interpret and elaborate an apparently simple and casual incident into a critical emotional experience.

The atmosphere of the film is tense and creates a sense of paranoia in the character’s distrust of her lover who is portrayed as a killer. Her character is multiplied into four, exploring the character’s depth. The hooded figure who’s face is revealed to be a reflective surface reflects the character’s dream world’s exploration of her identity.

Meshes of the Afternoon has been considered an example of the ‘trance film’, when a protagonist appears in a dreamlike state and when the camera conveys their focus. The order of the film is non-chronological, open ended and interrupted. The film makes a new use of standards cinematic devices such as montage editing and matte shots.

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