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Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)

Not Rated | | Short | 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

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short

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:

A délután szövevénye See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$275 (estimated)
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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

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. 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

Referenced in For Dancers (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Like nothing else I'd ever seen before
3 May 2007 | by Asa_Nisi_Masa2See all my reviews

Have American filmmakers ever been as experimental as Deren since this short was made? If so, my guess is not very often - not as far as I know anyway. It really is astonishing to think that this was made in 1943, in the midst of WWII! A fellow IMDb user had first recommended I watch this when a while back, I had started a thread about movies that should be taken in non-rationally on one of the boards. I can now completely see why he urged me to watch this: whatever side of the brain it is that we use when our rationality is switched off, is the side one must use to make the most of Deren's film. Symbols aplenty - symbols I wasn't especially trying to interpret, but just trying to take in with everything else that was going on - Maya Deren's own very striking, very beautiful physical presence, a Death-like figure bearing a fake flower (but they're not the only one to carry it during the course of the movie), a key popping out of Deren's mouth which reminded me of the cover of Kate Bush's The Dreaming album, shadows, light, repetitions, interiors, exteriors... just soak it in, and don't try and explain it.


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