Maya Deren and the American Avant-garde
Includes the Complete Text of 'An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form, and Film'
Edited by Bill Nichols
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Maya Deren and the American Avant-garde by Bill Nichols
Book DescriptionRegarded as one of the founders of the postwar American independent cinema, the legendary Maya Deren was a poet, photographer, ethnographer, filmmaker and impresario. Her efforts to promote an independent cinema have inspired filmmakers for over fifty years. "Meshes of the Afternoon" (1943) ranks among the most widely viewed of all avant-garde films. The eleven essays gathered here examine Maya Deren's writings, films, and legacy from a variety of intriguing perspectives. Some address her relative neglect during the rise of feminist film theory; all argue for her enduring significance. The essays cast light on her aesthetics and ethics, her exploration of film form and of other cultures, her role as (woman) artist and as film theorist. "Maya Deren and the American Avant-Garde" also includes one of the most significant reflections on the nature of art and the responsibilities of the filmmaker ever written - Deren's influential but long out-of-print book, "An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form and Film", in its entirety. Among the topics covered in this volume are Deren's ties with the avant-garde of her day and its predecessors; her perspective on vodoun ritual, possession ceremonies, and social harmony; her work in relation to the modern dance tradition and its racial inflections; her thoughts, written in the shadow of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, about science, including how form can embody moral principles; the complex issue of the 'woman artist' in an avant-garde dominated by men; her famous dispute with Anais Nin; and, an exploration of issues of identification and desire in her major films. As the first critical evaluation of the enduring significance of Maya Deren, this book clarifies the filmmaker's theoretical and cinematic achievements and conveys the passionate sense of moral purpose she felt about her art. It is a long-overdue tribute to one of the most important and least written about filmmakers in American cinema, an artist who formulated the terms and conditions of independent cinema that remain with us today.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780520227323
(229mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 24-Oct-2001
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Bill Nichols
Speaking Truths with Film, Hardback (May 2016)
How do issues of form and content shape the documentary film? What role does visual evidence play in relation to a documentary's arguments about the world we live in? This book investigates the ways documentaries strive for accuracy and truthfulness and simultaneously fabricate a form that shapes reality.
Cinema's Alchemist, Paperback (January 2012)
Multiple views of the famed Hungarian filmmaker and installation artist who turns home movies into history
Introduction to Documentary, Paperback (November 2010)
Introduces issues and concepts in documentary film and video
Engaging Cinema, Paperback (March 2010)» View all books by Bill Nichols
Engaging Cinema emphasizes the interactions between society and cinema and introduces students to film studies as it is actually done by scholars and critics.
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Author Biography - Bill Nichols
Bill Nichols holds the Fanny Knapp Allen Chair of Fine Arts and is Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Rochester where he teaches in the Visual and Cultural Studies doctoral program. He is the author of Blurred Boundaries (1994), Representing Reality (1991), Movies and Methods (California, 1976 and 1985), and Ideology and the Image (1981).
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