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Maya Deren and the American Avant-Garde
by Bill Nichols
Regarded as one of the founders of the postwar American independent cinema, the legendary Maya Deren was a poet, photographer, ethnographer, filmmaker and impresario. Her efforts to promote an independent cinema have inspired filmmakers for over fifty years. Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) ranks among the most widely viewed of all avant-garde films. The eleven essays gather ...more
Paperback, 346 pages
Published October 31st 2001 by University of California Press
(first published 2001)
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" The meaning of "Maya Deren" shifts according to who speaks her name. In the discourse of film, "Maya Deren" occupies two places: one of them apolitical and aestheticizing, the other political and feminist. In the former, Maya Deren is an artist and the origin of an American (mainly male) avant-garde film practice. In the latter, Maya Deren is part of a feminist film canon but before its time. Here Maya Deren is an icon, a model, an inspiration. She is in the canon of "women artists" but not of ...more
Bill Nichols (born 1942) is an American film critic and theoretician best known for his pioneering work as founder of the contemporary study of documentary film. His 1991 book, Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary, applied modern film theory to the study of documentary film for the first time. It has been followed by scores of books by others and by additional books and essays ...moreMore about Bill Nichols...