7.9/10
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Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)

Not Rated | | Short, Fantasy, Mystery | 1943 (USA)
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.

Directors:

Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid (as Alexander Hamid)

Writer:

Maya Deren
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Maya Deren ... The Woman
Alexander Hammid Alexander Hammid ... The Man
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Storyline

On her way back home, a solitary woman picks up a frail flower, and then, she drops her key--and when she finally enters her home--exhausted, she falls asleep in a deep and comfortable armchair. However, even in her intimate dreams, an intangible and elusive dark presence blemishes her afternoon nap--she tries to catch it; but, in vain. Now, bizarre but perfect doppelgängers of her physical self materialise in the house, catching a glimpse of a record player playing a never-ending silent tune; a telephone, and a sharp bread knife, as the already confined environment becomes more and more a maze-like purgatory. The knife thirsts for blood; the woman hungers for a way out. Can the undivided mind/matter entity escape consciousness? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Fantasy | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

DVD | Edited DVD

Country:

USA

Language:

None

Release Date:

1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Meshes of the Afternoon See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$275 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 »

Alternate Versions

The original print of Meshes was completely silent (w/o music). Teiji Ito's score was added to a sound reprint in the 1950's. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The President Show: Make America Great-a-Thon (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

A Great Surreal Dream
27 May 2018 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

The IMDB summary of this film states that it's about "A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams..." Well, that might be one interpretation but I'm sure you could show this film to a hundred people and get a hundred different replies as to what it was about. This avant-garde film from Maya Deren and Alexander Hamid has become one of the most popular of its type and it's easy to see why.

If you're a fan of Luis Bunuel's UN CHIEN ANDALOU then you'll certainly want to check this out as there are some very bizarre and surreal images on display. There's no doubt that the highlight for me was the women in black who creepily walks around and then when you see the face, well, I'm not going to ruin it but it's a powerful effect. The film works perfectly as a mix between reality and a dream world and there's no question that you never know which one that you're in.

The film was certainly very well-made and the images are striking throughout. The cinematography is a major plus but so was the timing of the editing. MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON is a very beautiful little gem and one of the most surreal as well.


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