The first part of the Maya Deren programme kicked off last night with a series of five shorts, grouped together under the title ‘Chamber Films’. Intimate in their study of identity, rigorous in their construction of space and use of editing and richly analytical of the processes and patterns of movement, they formed a beautiful, mysterious and beguiling hour’s worth of filmic art.
The high point was the magnificent Ritual in Transfigured Time, which crystallized Deren’s themes and aesthetics into a subversive narrative of cyclical temporality, multiple personae and transubstantiation of myths and realities. It’s a truly remarkable film and one that only increases its power, impact and intrigue after repeated viewings.
Luckily the film is available to watch online, although unfortunately the quality is rather lacking. Still though, it’s really something rather special.