Saturday, February 25: 4:30pm
A Study in Choreography for Camera (1945), Silent, B/W, 2 min 30
Ritual in Transfigured Time (1945-46), Silent, B/W, 16 min
Meditation on Violence (1948), B/W, 13 min, with Ch'ao Li Chi. Chinese flute and Haitian drum arranged by Maya Deren
The Very Eye of Night ( 1952-55), B/W, 15 min, Choreography by Anthony Tudor, with students of Metropolitan Opera Ballet School. Music by Teiji Ito
For this special event, we present four short experimental films, all of which will be accompanied live by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Olesya Zdorovetska.
It was in Maya Deren's third project, A Study in Choreography for Camera, that Deren fully realized her vision of freeing the human body from the confines of theatrical—and actual—space. In Ritual in Transfigured Time we have gestures that invite us to move into step with them, abandoning the comfort of the known and giving ourselves over to so many strange partners. Just as the actual movements of Chinese boxing are a physical statement of certain metaphysical concepts, so the film Meditation on Violence is, in filmic terms, itself a statement of those same concepts. The Very Eye of Night is filmmaker Maya Deren's last completed film.
Maya Deren (1917–1961) was a Ukrainian-born American experimental filmmaker. She was an important promoter of the avant-garde in the 1940s and 1950s, and her social circle included Marcel Duchamp, André Breton, John Cage and Anaïs Nin. Maya was also a choreographer, dancer, film theorist, poet, lecturer, writer, and photographer.
The function of film, she believed, was to create an experience. She combined her expertise in dance and choreography, ethnography, the African spirit religion of Haitian Vodou, symbolist poetry and gestalt psychology 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, in carefully planned films with specific conceptual aims. Deren was a muse and inspiration to such up-and-coming avant-garde filmmakers as Curtis Harrington, Stan Brakhage, and Kenneth Anger, who emulated her independent, entrepreneurial spirit.
Electronic, Experimental, Ukrainian Film Fest
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