Thursday, June 14, 2012

157. Meshes of the Afternoon

Meshes of the Afternoon
Directed by Mara Deren and Alexander Hammid

I think I have mentioned this an annoying amount of times but I went to London in April.  While I was there, I visited the Tate Modern Art Gallery.  It was modern art at its most pretentious.  Here are a few pictures from the museum:

Anyway, it was hilarious to see these different objects be interpreted as deep messages on today's society.  I watched this experimental film with my sister and it was just as funny.  This movie consists of a woman in a dream doing...I have no idea what.  The point of it, apparently, was that it is the every day life that traps a woman the most.  I can agree with that but there are other ways of getting across that message.

Modern art sculptures and experimental films are not for me.  The last movie on the list was Yankee Doodle Dandy, which was evidently for the unthinking masses and now there is this film which is for smug intellectuals.  Can't we find a nice medium?

RATING: *----

Interesting Facts:


Selected for the National Film Registry.


  1. This was so funny! I didn't even think about the difference between this and Yankee Doodle Dandy, but you're right. I fear there are many more of these films in store for us that we are just too lowbrow to understand!

  2. My thanks to Rachel for delving into the archives and bringing this one back to our attention. (it's good when that happens.. shows you that what you put so much effort into isn't forgotten about..)
    OK, at the risk of being labeled pretentious or a smug intellectual...
    There was something about this I really liked. Dare i go even further and say I liked it so much, that when I found a cheap DVD of Deren's other films, I bought it.
    I enjoyed watching the others.. well, most of them (some were decidedly samey), but this was still the one I enjoyed the most.. (so take that comment to mean what you want..).
    I don't know why... It had a rather beautiful dreamy quality.. and somehow I kept remembering and comparing to Pre Raphaelite paintings.
    (themselves, condemned as far to radical / revolutionary / shocking at the time, now equally condemned as boringly middlebrow)
    Yes, there are some decidedly weird 'experimentals' out there in the book.. but I'm glad they were there. It is what 'The book' is for.. to show us stuff we otherwise wouldn't bother with. so sorry Amanda, I'm going to defend this one... even if I'm not sure why.. and certainly not because I claim to understand it.

  3. We can forgive you Ray! I am not sure I like surreal, psychedelic films. Actually, I am sure I don't; just like I don't like being super high in real life. Perhaps I am just too controlling!

  4. I happen to like film art and I tend to prefer art exhibitions with film installations. Not because I understand them but there something both cooky and provoking about the best of them that I find them fun and interesting. This one by Maya Deren is wacky enough to fit the bill.

  5. I like the art films, even though this wasn't mostly wasn't for me. The message shouldn't be too obvious, otherwise it's not art.

    Tate Modern's great, BTW