176 Great Directors: Maya Deren

“It would be so much easier to be a painter or a writer. You don’t have to have equipment. You don’t have to do all the things. You’re not at the mercy of the laboratories. You’re not here and you’re not there. It’s a terrible pain to be a filmmaker, because you not only have the creative problems, but you have financial problems that they don’t have. You have technical problems that they don’t have. You have machines that are breaking down in a way that paintbrushes don’t break down. It’s just a terrible thing to be a filmmaker. And if you are a filmmaker, it’s because there is something in the sheer medium that seems to be able to make some sort of statement that you particularly want to make, and which no other medium to you seems capable of making in the same way.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Meshes of the Afternoon.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Meshes.

What Did I Watch: Witch’s Cradle.

Where Does She Fit: Witch’s Cradle occupies a tricky position due to its status as something that was assembled by a very talented staff after Deren was dead. All you need is an image, however, and the woman gaining and losing a pentagram on her forehead is enough. The film is a web that ensnares you, and only the score that made Meshes so inimitable is missing to really make this a peak. The invocation of the impossible is what cinema is for, and the images we are given more than make up for whatever problems we may face in conjuring them.


Most Valuable Asset: The world is an interconnected dream.
Most Excited For: Private Life of a Cat?
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: One hit horror wonder Tobe Hooper.


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