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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

Featured in In the Mirror of Maya Deren (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Way ahead of its time!
14 August 2006 | by NateManDSee all my reviews

Maya Deren's "Meshes of the Afternoon" is an amazing 15 minute journey into the subconscious. It's like "Un Chien Andalou" seen through the eyes of a woman. In the film it's hard to tell when Maya's character is awake or dreaming. This film is chock full of bizarre and creepy surrealist images. The protagonist drops her key and it bounces like a ball. A knife moves from a loaf of bread, then the key turns into a knife. She carries a flower with her, which she holds upside down. She sees death, who where's a black hood and has a mirror for a face. She see's herself dreaming. In her dream she seems to foresee her own death. Deren seems to have a subconscious fear of knives, or being killed by a knife. This is one crazy little short film that almost puts you in a hypnotic trance with it's creepy Avant-Gard sounds and images. It's very poetic and disturbing, as nothing is what it seems. This is a must see for fans of David Lynch and Bunuel.


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