Maya Deren x PC Worship
Director: Maya Deren, 1943-1946.
United States, 84 minutes.
Video Revival exclusive! Equal parts tribute and experiment, this is a sequence of Maya Deren's most well-known films synced to the "avant-grunge" recordings (to quote the New Yorker) of Brooklyn's very own noise ensemble, PC Worship. Film buffs know Maya Deren (1917-1961) as the 'mother' of American experimental cinema. Less known is that she was also a poet, a socialist, and a respected ethnographer of Haitian voodoo rituals. Though she eschewed surrealist and Freudian interpretations of her work, there is an undeniably mythical and dream-like quality to her films, they have an undeniably mythical and dream-like quality. Perhaps Adams Sitney put it best when he described them as "trance films" - and perhaps Deren would have agreed, given her love of dance, music, and ritual.
Using only minimal sound edits, the juxtaposed work of these two wildly different artists creates an alluring and heady synergy.
**Note: The running time of the entire program is 84 minutes. Opening segment is a short by Maya Deren's husband and collaborator, Alexander Hammid (20 min), followed by the PC Worship sonic juxtapositions just described (43 min), then the program concludes with a contemporary animation inspired by Maya Deren, the theatrical premiere of Peter Schmideg's"Maya Deren: Prelude to Generating a Dream Palette" with a newly composed soundtrack by Laurie Spiegel" (20 min.).
Bonus: Limited-edition commemorative zine will be for sale at Video Revival starting October 8. It features a Q&A with Justin Frye of PC Worship.