As Zeitgeist Films puts it "Maya Deren is arguably the most important and innovative avant-garde filmmaker in the history of American cinema." MoMA is honoring the artist's incredible contribution to experimental film with Maya Deren's Legacy: Women and Experimental Film, curated by MoMA's Sally Berger (see her blog posts on MoMA's Inside/Out. The exhibit which opened May 15 and will run through October 4th, 2010 includes video installation and film programs. Screenings consist of Ms. Deren's work as well as her influences, such as Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer, and Su Friedrich. The program also offers a loving tribute to Ms. Deren's life and work in Martina Kudlácek's documentary, In the Mirror of Maya Deren (2002). The sweet and humbled filmmaker was on hand for Q&A after last night's viewing.
Jerry Tallmer wrote a beautifully rich article on this MoMA series in The Villager and even the writer's experiences with the artist herself. Please take a moment to read it. Mr. Tallmer's description of Ms. Deren's sensual and mysterious 14 minute masterpiece Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) is more than palatable.