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Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)

A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen.

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, (as Alexander Hamid)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Maya Deren ...
Alexander Hammid ...
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Storyline

A solitary flower on a long driveway, a key falling, a door unlocked, a knife in a loaf of bread, a phone off the hook: discordant images a woman sees as she comes home. She naps and, perhaps, dreams. She sees a hooded figure going down the driveway. The knife is on the stair, then in her bed. The hooded figure puts the flower on her bed then disappears. The woman sees it all happen again. Downstairs, she naps, this time in a chair. She awakes to see a man going upstairs with the flower. He puts it on the bed. The knife is handy. Can these dream-like sequences end happily? A mirror breaks, the man enters the house again. Will he find her? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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bed | flower | knife | stairs | mirror | See All (18) »

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Release Date:

27 October 2001 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

A délután szövevénye  »

Box Office

Budget:

$275 (estimated)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Libary of Congress, in 1990. See more »

Goofs

When The Woman tries to open the supposedly locked door for the first time, it gives way a little (too much). See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Quest for _____ (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amazing
12 November 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen.

The film was the product of Deren's and Hammid's desire to create an avant garde personal film that dealt with devastating psychological problems, like the French surrealist films of the 1920s such as Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel's Un Chien Andalou (1929) and L'Age d'Or (1930).

In 1990, Meshes of the Afternoon was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant", going into the registry in the second year of voting. In 2015 the BBC named the film the 40th greatest American movie ever made.

The dreamlike (or nightmarish) atmosphere of Meshes has influenced many subsequent films, notably David Lynch's Lost Highway (1997). Jim Emerson has also noted the influence of Meshes within David Lynch's film, Inland Empire. Meshes also had a clear influence on Lynch's film Mulholland Drive with dual roles, a mysterious figure, winding Hollywood road, a dream within a dream, a woman viewing her own body in a dream, and iconic objects such as a key and a telephone.

This film is incredible, and it shocks me that it and its creators are not better known. They deserve to be on the same level as Bunuel and Lynch, but yet do not seem to be known outside of those who really have a passion for avant-garde or surreal film.


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