Literary Analysis Of Maya Deren's Meshes Of The Afternoon

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Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon, (1943) is a 14 minute black and white 16mm film that captures simple realities like walking around one’s house, cutting bread, etc, and turning that narrative into a warped and surrealistic reality that is eerie and chilling, but ultimately there is still familiarity in it’s truth and sensibility. In addition to it being cinematically masterful, Deren’s approach in the choices she made were remarkable and iconic in terms of editing because of the time period’s limited technological advances. Not only were the choices relating to the piece’s aesthetics ambitious and experimental, actually being able to act on those artistic impulses or inquires was a conscious awareness to the arduousness that would…show more content…
In hanging it up, she wants to come out of this dream that is slowly beginning to develop into a dissociative nightmare. With the knife, I enjoy its image alone without any symbolic attachment to them because I find knives to be aesthetically lovely on behalf of their elegance in how they shine, but there is also the inherent phallicism and violence that is attached to it’s image as well. Through this symbol, Deren expresses the frustration she faces with herself and identity, in that she isn’t being seen, understood, or respected, in the way she wants to be through the perspective of men- whether that is through her personal wedded life, or through her professional life in a male-dominated field. With each subtle change different from the last, Deren triggers memory and familiarity and in her repeating the images, Deren is asking her viewers to pay attention and think deeply about what it is that she is presenting so many times. The use of repetition aside from its symbolism and iconism, and instead approaching it through an analytical lens in terms of how they’re executed in editing are outstanding artistic choices as well. Whether it is the key turning into a knife, slow motion running, or her final shots of her feet walking through several scenic platforms- everything about her cuts and aesthetic choices are cinematically

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