Meshes of the Afternoon

Meshes of the Afternoon
Director: Maya Deren

USA, experimental, 1943, 14 min

A lonely flower on a long driveway, a falling key, an unlocked door, a knife, a loaf of bread and a phone off the hook: these dissonant images follow a woman on her way back home. She falls asleep and, perhaps, dreams. The woman sees a black hooded figure, coming to her home... Is it really a dream? “Meshes of the Afternoon” is an American avant-garde classic, the famous Maya Deren’s first work. It’s a riddle full of symbols, giving a different solution to each viewer.


1990 – National Film Preservation Board (USA) included this film into the National Film Registry as a culturally significant piece of art.

About the director:

Maya Deren (1917–1961) was an American avant-garde filmmaker, choreographer, poetess, dancer, writer and photographer. She was born in Kiev as Eleanor Derenkowsky and soon left the country with her family for New York. Here she led an active political and cultural life. In 1943 Deren created her first and most famous film – “Meshes of the Afternoon”, revealing her interest in symbolism and surrealism. This movie is considered an avant-garde classic. The same year she changed her name to Maya, meaning ‘illusion’. That is a perfect description of this filmmaker’s creations: the line between reality and dream ceases to exist in Deren’s films; they reach the furthest nooks of the viewer’s subconscious.

Section: Special Screenings: Avantgarde women programme curated by Jonas Mekas

Screenplay: Maya Deren

Dir. of Photography: Alexander Hammid

Music: Teiji Ito

Cast: Alexander Hammid